After Three Strikes, Ohio's Death Penalty Should be Out

Around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, I was experiencing a terrible case of déjà vu. For the third time in as many years, I saw news reports that Ohio had botched an execution because of problems locating viable veins in the victim.

Romell Broom had been sentenced to die on September 15, 2009, following several failed appeals to delay his execution because of concerns over the lethal injection procedures and pleas for clemency. The state began the proceedings shortly after 2 p.m. Officials tried for nearly two hours to locate a usable vein, and the media accounts of what took place are positively stomach-churning.

After about an hour, Broom tried to help. He turned onto his left side, slid rubber tubing up his left arm, began moving the arm up and down and flexed and closed his fingers. The execution team was able to access a vein, but it collapsed when technicians tried to insert saline fluid.

Broom turned onto his back and covered his face with both hands. His torso heaved up and down and his feet shook. He wiped his eyes and was handed a roll of toilet paper, which he used to wipe his brow.

The team tried to insert shunts through veins in Broom's legs, causing him to appear to grimace. A member of the execution team patted him on the back.

The similarities between what happened with Broom and two other inmates, Joseph L. Clark and Christopher Newton, were chilling. Clark was executed in May 2006, but the execution was delayed several hours because his veins kept collapsing. The procedure was so botched, Clark sat up in the middle of the procedure and groaned, "It's not working." In May 2007, Christopher Newton's execution took so long that officials allowed him to take a bathroom break in the middle of the procedure.

What is the difference between Clark, Newton and Broom? Broom survived this execution after Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland ordered a one-week reprieve in order to give officials time to find a way to put him to death.

Broom's survival is unprecedented in the history of lethal injection in the United States. No condemned person has ever been subjected to a botched lethal injection attempt, survived, and then condemned to die using the same procedure only a week later.

After three failed executions in our state, it is clear that our procedures are fundamentally flawed and that no one else should be put to death using these methods. If we continue using these procedures without a critical and thorough reform, it will not be a matter of if another botched execution occurs, but when. Governor Strickland must show leadership on this issue and halt all executions.

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Until we can come up with a way to ensure that there is no chance that we are executing an innocent person, no executions should occur--Period.

The state of Illinois, years ago found 22 persons on death row exonerated. Prosecutors still fight the ability of convicted persons to obtain and use DNA evidence.

What percentage of those on death row had Public Defenders? What percentage of those charged with a death penalty qualified crime are convicted if they have expensive attorneys? The death penalty is simply an economic issue. Convictions occur due to lack of financial resources, not due to guilt or innocence.

G M Larkin

Double Jeopardy

Ohio has clearly demonstrated that it cannot handle the execution of its citizens by the use of poison.

If they ---the state--- insists on keeping legalized nmurder, they have to devise a fool proof method that even untrained Goons can nuse. Callous indifference and a cavalier approach makes the procedure unworkable.

Better yet, join the ranks of the civilized world, and delegate the drugs for their intended medical use.

G M Larkin


We have other ways to rid society of bad people. I have no pity for them. I'm sure they aren't hurting as much as the people they murdered or the relatives who are still hurting.

Gene Fridman

The Death Penalty is a failed experiment. It is incompatible with the 8th Amendment. This description is positively disgusting!


Broom, 51, is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 18. He was convicted of raping and stabbing to death a 14-year-old girl in 1984 in Cleveland. He abducted Tryna Middleton at knifepoint then raped her and stabbed her seven times. He's been in prison since Oct. 24, 1985.
Really you feel sorry for this guy? He raped and stabbed a girl to death. He should be stabbed to death as well. What is WRONG with you people?


Broom, 51, is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 18. He was convicted of raping and stabbing to death a 14-year-old girl in 1984 in Cleveland. He abducted Tryna Middleton at knifepoint then raped her and stabbed her seven times. He's been in prison since Oct. 24, 1985.
You feel bad for this guy? Wow just wow. Instead of injecting him, they should stab him to death and rape him. What is wrong with you all?


When can they re-join the post-medieval world and stop this state-sanctioned killing in cold blood?

red blooded american

Go Ohio! Make the law breaker suffer. Looks like they were trying to stab him to death. Im sure he got raped some time inbetween.


I think a lot of the pro death penalty people are nostalgic for the days of lynch mobs.Personaly I also think many of those folks have about as much compassion and humanity as the people they want to kill.


Alejandro Hernandez and Rolando Cruz were convicted and nearly executed for slaying 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico in 1983. Both were later proven innocent.

Not only is it wrong for the State to execute a person, the State screws it up way too often.


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