(Adds details of convicted killer's planned execution; lawyer
By Kim Palmer
CLEVELAND Nov 13 Ohio Governor John Kasich on
Wednesday stayed the execution of convicted killer Ronald
Phillips to assess whether Phillips's non-vital organs or
tissues can be donated to his mother or possibly others.
Phillips, 40, was scheduled to be executed Thursday for the
1993 murder of 3-year-old Sheila Marie Evans. But Kasich granted
a stay until July 2 to allow medical experts to assess whether
Phillips's non-vital organs or tissues can be donated to his
mother or others.
Phillips's mother needs a kidney, according to his attorney
"I realize this is a bit of uncharted territory for Ohio,
but if another life can be saved by his willingness to donate
his organs and tissues, then we should allow for that to
happen," Kasich said in a statement.
Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty
Information Center, said that inmates waiting on death row have
donated non-vital organs such as kidneys before, but a stay of
execution has never been granted to allow it.
"I've never heard of a case exactly like this," Dieter said.
He said U.S. inmates are not allowed to donate organs after
Kasich's office said that if Phillips is found to be a
viable donor, the procedures would be performed and he would be
returned to death row to await his new execution date.
Phillips had been scheduled to be the first person executed
in the U.S. using a combination of the drugs midazolam and
hydromorphone. The state needed to use the drug combination
because it didn't have enough of the drug pentobarbital.
Kasich, a Republican, has commuted the sentences of four men
on death row to life in prison without parole since 2011. Ohio
has executed three men this year and there are 146 men and one
woman on the state's death row.
The U.S. has executed 34 prisoners so far this year,
according to Dieter.
(Reporting by Kim Palmer and Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Scott
Malone and Ken Wills)