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Federal court grants stay of execution for fourth Ohio inmate

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio [official website] on Thursday issued a stay of execution for Ohio death row inmate Kenneth Biros, as the state continues to review its lethal injection procedures. Biros is the fourth Ohio death inmate to be granted a stay of execution since the failed attempt to execute Romell Broom [JURIST report] in September 2009. Along with Broom, the executions Darryl Durr and Lawrence Reynolds have also been postponed [JURIST report]. Biros was convicted of a 1991 murder and attempted rape and was scheduled to be executed on December 8.

In July, Ohio conducted the 1000th execution [JURIST report] by lethal injection in the US since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1976 case Gregg v. Georgia [opinion text]. In June, Ohio first used its new lethal injection method [JURIST report], called "set-to-die." The procedure requires officials to shake and call out to the prisoner after a sedative has been administered, and a second dose can then be given, if necessary. A de facto national moratorium [JURIST report] on the death penalty ended last year when the US Supreme Court ruled in Baze v. Rees [JURIST report] that the three-drug lethal injection sequence [DPIC backgrounder] used in most states does not violate the Constitution.

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