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State News

Federal judge postpones another Ohio execution


CINCINNATI — A federal judge on Monday granted a stay of execution to another Ohio inmate as state officials and defense lawyers continue to examine the state's lethal injection method following a botched attempt last month.

Kenneth Biros, 51, was scheduled to be executed on Dec. 8. He was convicted in 1991 of murder and attempted rape of a woman in Masury in Northeast Ohio.

Judge Gregory Frost indefinitely delayed his execution. The judge also indefinitely delayed the second effort to execute Romell Broom, whose botched execution attempt prompted the review.

"This court cannot say whether Mr. Biros is entitled to an ongoing stay of execution based on facts arising from the Broom execution attempt until this court knows what those facts are," the judge wrote.

Gov. Ted Strickland this month postponed the executions of two other men who were scheduled to die before Biros, Lawrence R. Reynolds Jr. and Darryl Durr, until the spring. The state is considering ways to adjust its death chamber procedure after technicians couldn't locate suitable veins on Broom through which to administer lethal drugs.

A spokeswoman for the governor said a review of execution procedures continued. A spokeswoman for Richard Cordray, the attorney general, said the state was reviewing its legal options. The state had expected to have new procedures in place in time to execute Biros on Dec. 8.

Among the changes the state is considering is injecting lethal drugs into inmates' bone marrow or muscles as an alternative to - or a backup for - the traditional intravenous execution procedure. Broom complained in an affidavit following the execution attempt that execution staff painfully hit muscle and bone at times during up to 18 attempts to reach a vein.

Broom was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing a 14-year old girl in 1984.

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