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Judge halts killer's Ohio execution, scolds state

•  State Bar News     updated  2012/01/11 10:38


A federal judge on Wednesday delayed next week's execution of a man who stabbed to death an elderly couple, saying the state had once again failed to follow its own rules for executions.

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost said he does not want to micromanage Ohio executions but added that the Department of Corrections has left him no choice by disobeying his previous orders. Charles Lorraine was scheduled to die by injection on Jan. 18.

Frost said the state failed to document the drugs used in its last execution in November and failed to review the medical chart of the inmate who was put to death.

Frost scolded the state in his opinion by saying if Ohio would do a better job of explaining why it might deviate from its policies, it might not be in this position.

"Do not lie to the Court, do not fail to do what you tell this Court you must do, and do not place the Court in the position of being required to change course in this litigation after every hearing," Frost wrote. "Today's adverse decision against Defendants is again a curiously if not inexplicably self-inflicted wound."

Both the prisons system and the Ohio attorney general's office were reviewing the decision and could not immediately comment. The state has usually, but not always, appealed similar decisions by Frost to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


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