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Lethal Injection: Ohio Uses Single Shot on Second Man

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By Kamika Dunlap on January 13, 2010 1:45 PM

Ohio has executed its second death row inmate using a single shot lethal injection.

The state executed Vernon Smith with its new shot lethal injection method. Vernon Smith was executed for the shooting death of a shopkeeper during a 1993 robbery.

According to the Associated Press, this was the second time the new one drug method was used since it replaced the standard three-chemical combination.

Gov. Ted Strickland rejected Smith's clemency request. He pointed to the dissenters in a 5-2 recommendation from the Ohio Parole Board opposing clemency, communication from an Ohio Supreme Court justice and a letter from an appeals judge.

The death row inmate was pronounced dead eight minutes after the single dose of sodium thiopental began flowing at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.

As previously discussed, Ken Biros was the first death row inmate in the U.S. to die by lethal injection with a single shot drug rather than a three-drug method. Smith was pronounced dead faster than the 10 minutes it took for Kenneth Biros to die.

Smith had changed his name to Abdullah Shariff Kaazim Mahdi and converted to Islam after he was arrested.

His final statement was not in English. Charlotte Darwish, the widow of Smith's victim, said he was reciting the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

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.

As previously discussed, many states are debating whether alternative approaches to lethal injection should be considered.

But over the years, many states have resisted changing the three-drug procedure, which has been in place since 1970.

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.

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