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Ohio’s lethal injection a human experiment, attorney contends

Published: Sat, November 21, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

COLUMBUS (AP) — The state’s new lethal-injection plan is so untested that it would amount to human experimentation if used for the first time next month, an attorney for a condemned inmate said in a Friday court filing.

There is no reason for federal courts to allow the scheduled Dec. 8 execution of Kenneth Biros given the lack of details in the proposed system, which replaces a fatal three-drug cocktail with a single powerful dose of anesthetic, attorney Tim Sweeney said.

Ohio also has proposed a two-drug muscle injection as a backup, but Sweeney said in a filing with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati that there’s no evidence of the backup’s reliability.

“There is nothing in the record on which this Court can make any legitimate determination as to whether the ‘back-up’ they have selected is as or more constitutionally problematic than a gunshot to the head,” Sweeney wrote.

The proposal “is human experimentation, pure and simple,” Sweeney said.

Biros killed 22-year-old Tami Engstrom in Brookfield in 1991. He had offered to drive her home from a bar, then dismembered her corpse and scattered her body parts in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

He acknowledged killing her but said it was done during a drunken rage.

Trumbull County prosecutor Dennis Watkins called Biros, 51, “a poster person for the death penalty.”

Sweeney responded to a Friday afternoon deadline set by the 6th Circuit, which wants to know why a lawsuit challenging injection shouldn’t be dismissed.

Biros has argued that Ohio’s three-drug injection process could cause severe pain, in violation of the Constitution.

After the state last week replaced that system with a single dose of anesthetic, it said the new approach renders Biros’ lawsuit moot.

Attorney General Richard Cordray said nothing is stopping Biros from challenging the one-drug proposal. But Cordray also pointed out that Biros and other inmates have often said that adopting the single-drug method could eliminate the risk of pain.

A federal judge has temporarily delayed Biros’ execution but left open the possibility the execution could still happen if the state revised its injection rules.


1queenie(12 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

If they can give an animal one shot that causes no pain and almost instant death why can't they give this monster the same thing. The attorney for this animal needs to take Biros into his home and let him live with his family for awhile and see if he still thinks his client is so misunderstood and deserves sympathy. The only ones that deserve sympathy is the victims family that have to hear about him deserving a painless dignified execution.He has used every excuse from drunken rage to mentally incapacitated to keep him alive while the taxpayers keep paying not only to keep him in prison but also to pay for a worthless attorney. It is time to say enough is enough and put him down like the rabid animal that he is.

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2Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

The proposal “is human experimentation, pure and simple,” Sweeney said.

Good, I hope they screw up on the injection and this animal suffers big time. He didn't care how Tami felt when he was in his drunken rage and how she suffered. Put this lowest form of life down and hope he suffers to no end. They should do to him what he did to her!

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