COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has delayed eight executions as a court fight continues over the constitutionality of the state’s lethal injection process.
The Republican governor’s announcement Friday postpones an execution scheduled for next week until May. It also moves seven other procedures months into the future.
Kasich said the timing of arguments before a Cincinnati federal appeals court necessitated the delay.
The court is hearing Ohio’s appeal of a judge’s order finding the state’s latest execution process unconstitutional.
Kasich said he’s confident Ohio will win the appeal, but the court calendar didn’t provide enough time to prepare for executions scheduled this month, next month and April.
Ronald Phillips, scheduled to die next week for raping and killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, is now set for execution May 10.
A court filing says Ohio asked seven other states for a lethal injection drug in an unsuccessful attempt to continue carrying out executions.
The filing in a federal appeals court last week says the state prisons agency also tried in vain to obtain the active ingredient in the drug, pentobarbital, in hopes of having a compounded version made.
State attorneys cited the information to explain why reverting to pentobarbital is not an option.
The state is appealing a federal judge’s ruling last month rejecting the state’s current three-drug execution method.
The filing says Ohio asked Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Texas and Virginia for pentobarbital.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has scheduled arguments for Feb. 21.