U.S. News

Ohio man executed under new "set-to-die" procedure

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - Ohio on Wednesday executed a convicted killer using a new procedure that required the prison warden to try to rouse the condemned man after an initial dose of sedatives to make sure he was unconscious for the subsequent injection of lethal drugs.

Daniel Wilson, 39, was executed at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville on Wednesday morning, officials said.

While lethal injection is by far the most common method of execution in the United States, Ohio’s use of it was called into question in 2006 after a man who was supposed to be unconscious suddenly struggled and told his executioners the drugs were not working.

Executions were put on hold for several months in the United States while the Supreme Court considered whether lethal injection was cruel and unusual punishment. The high court ruled in April 2008, in a case which had challenged Kentucky’s procedures, that it was not.

Under the new Ohio protocol, the warden is required to call out the name of the condemned man, shake and pinch his shoulder, and then administer a second dose of sedative if there is a response. Officials said the new procedure was employed on Wednesday without incident.

Lethal injections involves three drugs -- one to cause unconsciousness, a second to paralyze the body and a third to stop the heart.

Wilson was sentenced to die for the 1991 murder of an Ohio woman. He was accused of locking her in the trunk of her car and burning her alive after she and Wilson had been drinking.

He was given a special meal of his choice the evening before his execution -- steak, baked potato, salad, corn on the cob and other items.

Reporting by Jim Leckrone in Columbus and Michael Conlon in Chicago; editing by Mohammad Zargham