A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Ohio top court allows execution of death row inmate following botched attempt

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Ohio [official website] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] that the state can execute a man whose execution was halted in 2009 after a failed attempt to administer lethal injection drugs. Romell Broom was to be put to death by lethal injection, but the execution was called off [JURIST report] after two hours when officials could not insert the IV line after sticking him 18 times. In a 4-3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court held that the state was not barred from re-carrying out the execution of Broom by lethal injection. Broom's defense attorneys had argued that he should not face execution based on double jeopardy and that another execution would be an unconstitutional second penalty. The state high court disagreed with this argument claiming that the execution did not even commence due to the lethal drugs not being injected into Brooms body prior to his reaction. The court also ruled against Bloom in holding that a second execution would not be considered a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Broom was convicted of the 1984 rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. He maintains his innocence.

Capital punishment [JURIST op-ed] remains a controversial issue in the US and worldwide. In February the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] rejected [opinion, PDF] a Georgia death row inmate's legal challenge [JURIST report] to the death penalty. In January Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood [official website] stated that he plans to ask lawmakers to approve the firing squad, electrocution or nitrogen gas as alternate methods of execution [press release] if the state prohibits lethal injection. The US Supreme Court in January ruled [JURIST report] in Kansas v. Carr [opinion, PDF] that a jury in a death penalty case does not need to be advised that mitigating factors, which can lessen the severity of a criminal act, do not need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt like aggravating factors.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.