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Lethal Injection: Ken Biros Is First Executed by Single Shot

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By Kamika Dunlap on December 08, 2009 8:50 AM

Today Ken Biros became the first person in the U.S. to die by lethal injection with a single shot drug rather than a three-drug method.

Prison officials delayed his the execution of the death row inmate by one hour to see if the if the U.S. Supreme court would intervene to stop the process, but a stay of execution was unlikely.

In a brief statement Tuesday, the court said it was denying Biros' request for a stay of execution.

As previously discussed, Biros was the first Ohio death row inmate executed under the state's new one-drug method.

He also was the first to undergo the new method as it has never been tried before on any U.S. death row inmate.

According to the Associated Press, Biros requested for a stay of execution. Biros had argued the state's new method would be painful.

However, Ohio's switch to one drug was meant to end a lawsuit that claims the three-drug system could cause severe pain, and experts have agreed that the single anesthetic will not cause pain.

Most experts agree that a single drug process will take longer than the old method. Under the sigle shot method it could take 15-30 minutes to die, compared to an average of 7 minutes under the old drug regime.

Other states including Florida and Ohio along with judges have applied different standards over whether an inmate can make a challenge to the method of execution.

Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia are among those watching Ohio's new method closely but say they will keep the three-drug method.

The Associated Press reports, Biros requested and drank four cups of water late Monday night and another eight Tuesday morning, an unusual activity compared to previous executions. Walburn said she didn't know why he was drinking so much water.

Biros, 51, was convicted of the brutal 1991 murder of Tami Engstrom near Warren, Ohio. He met the woman at a bar and offered to drive her home and later admitted robbing and trying to rape her. Prosecutors said Biros then cut up her body and spread parts of it around northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania. He said he acted in a fit of drunken rage.

Since executions resumed in Ohio, the state has put 32 people to death in the past decade.

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