[JURIST] A federal judge on Friday delayed the execution of Ohio death row inmate Romell Broom, following several failed attempts at administering a lethal injection on Tuesday. Judge Gregory Frost of the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio [official website] issued the order [AP report] following claims that the multiple attempts to find a vein during the two-hour procedure constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment [text]. Ohio law [ORC 2949.22 text] requires lethal injections to "quickly and painlessly cause death." The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio [advocacy website] is launching an investigation [press release] into the failed execution and is calling for increased transparency in the lethal injection process.
Broom was convicted of the 1984 rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. Earlier this month, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected [opinion, PDF] Broom's deprivation of rights [42 USC § 1983 text] challenge to the method of execution on timeliness grounds. The same court denied [opinion text] Broom's request for habeas relief in 2006. In July, Ohio completed the 1000th lethal injection [JURIST report] in the US since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. In June, the state introduced a new lethal injection procedure that requires officials to shake and call out [JURIST report] to the prisoner after a sedative has been administered.