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Texas: Gov. Abbott should grant death row inmate Rodney Reed a reprieve, before it’s too late

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Convicted murderer Rodney Reed is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Nov. 20, but Gov. Greg Abbott has the power to stop it.
As it stands, there’s no indication that Abbott will. He has only stopped one execution since becoming governor 5 years ago.
Reed was sentenced to death in 1998, after being convicted of the brutal 1996 rape and killing of a 19-year-old woman from central Texas, Stacey Stites. And though the governor has yet to weigh in on this specific case, he supports capital punishment, as do most voters in the state. According to a June 2018 poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune, fully three-fourths of Texans strongly or somewhat support the death penalty.
But the question at hand has nothing to do with the death penalty, per se. Granting a reprieve would simply be the right thing to do — and a necessary precaution against the doubts that would linger, if Reed is executed as scheduled.
Reed has consistently maintained his innocence, and legitimate questions …

Ohio to execute inmate with 2 drugs never tried before in a U.S. execution

Ohio will use a dose of two drugs never tried before in a U.S. execution to put to death a condemned inmate who raped and killed his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, the state prisons agency said Monday.

Lawyers for death row inmate Ronald Phillips immediately sued to put off his Nov. 14 execution, saying Ohio delayed the announcement so long it didn’t leave enough time to fully investigate the new method.

The agency made the decision because it couldn’t obtain a supply of its former execution drug, pentobarbital, from a specialty pharmacy that mixes individual doses for patients, prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said. The agency had considered using a compounding pharmacy after its supply of federally regulated pentobarbital expired last month.

Instead, the state will use an intravenous combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a painkiller, in the Nov. 14 execution of Ronald Phillips of Akron.

Those drugs already are included in Ohio’s never-tried backup execution method, which requires them to be injected directly into an inmate’s muscle. No state has put a prisoner to death with that combination of drugs.

Source: AP, October 29, 2013

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