WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to lift a stay of execution for Ohio convicted killer Charles Lorraine because the state failed to follow agreed-upon reforms for procedures on how it carries out the death penalty.
In a one-sentence order, the high court rejected a request by Ohio officials to set aside the stay of execution that a federal judge entered last month in the case about the state’s death penalty protocol involving lethal injection.
U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost granted Lorraine a temporary stay because Ohio failed to follow through on changes it made to its execution process after nearly eight years of constitutional challenges by inmates alleging cruel and unusual punishment.
Lorraine was sentenced to death for the 1986 stabbing murders of an elderly couple, Raymond and Doris Montgomery, at their home in Warren, Ohio.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit also refused to life the stay of execution for Lorraine.
In an execution carried out in Ohio in November, there were deviations from the procedures in announcing each drug as it was injected, in documenting the drugs used by name, expiration date and lot, and in reviewing the inmate’s medical chart before he was put to death.
Frost cited those deviations in his ruling.
He said he was not deciding whether Ohio’s method of execution practices were unconstitutional or constitutional, but added that Lorraine was likely to prevail and put on hold his execution, pending further order.
Reporting By James Vicini and David Bailey; Editing by Daniel Trotta