Ohio Killer Executed in First Use of Single-Drug Lethal Injection

"This is a significant step forward," said Ty Alper, Associate Director, Death Penalty Clinic, U.C. Berkeley School of Law. "Paralyzing inmates before executing them – so we can't tell whether they are suffering – is a barbaric practice, and Ohio should be commended for stopping it."


But Alper still sees problems with the system. "Ohio still hasn't solved the problem of IV access, and given Ohio's difficulty in accessing inmates' veins that remains a serious concern. Our main concern is that if they can't establish IV access then they have to use the back up plan which is a complete unknown."

Alper says the state has to go through a more thorough vetting process of the new protocol even though it was developed in consultation with a doctor whom the state has on retainer to consult on lethal injection issues.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center which opposes the death penalty, agrees.

"Perhaps experts from the medical profession will agree that Ohio has chosen the best available alternative to the risky three-drug process," he said. "But such a conclusion requires an evidentiary and adversarial hearing - not a doormat of blind acceptance."


But victim's rights advocates believe the state has done enough to protect the rights of death row inmates.

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Prosecutor Bill Mason told ABC News it doesn't matter if justice is brought with one drug or three drugs: "In all cases it is more humane than what these murderers [Kenneth Biros and Romell Broom] did to these innocent victims."

"Broom brutally raped and murdered a 14 year-old child by plunging a knife 7 times into her chest. They ought to have him in a waiting room, and as soon as this procedure is deemed successful [with Biros], they should bring him in and put him on the table before they put the equipment away," he said.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a three drug protocol used in Kentucky but the court left open the possibility of other methods being explored.

ABC News' Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.

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