Ohio Inmate to Testify About Botched Execution

     (CN) – Two days after a botched lethal injection in Ohio, a federal judge ordered the surviving inmate to be deposed for a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s execution procedures as cruel and unusual punishment.

     Romell Broom’s deposition is set for Monday, a day before he’s slated for execution. Broom was convicted of abducting, raping and murdering a 4-year-old girl in 1984.
     The state had to reschedule the procedure after a team of technicians spent two hours on Tuesday trying to find a suitable vein in which to administer the lethal drugs.
     Peter Krouse of The Cleveland Plain Dealer described the failed execution:
     “For more than two hours, the team attempted to insert two shunts into a vein of the compliant Broom, who tried several times to assist his executioners by shifting positions, rubbing his arms and pointing out possible usable veins. …
     “At one point, Broom, 53, lay back on his bed, covered his face with his hands, and cried. Another time, while sitting up, he was seen grimacing as the execution team appeared to seek a vein in his ankles.”
     Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland granted Broom a one-week reprieve after being informed that the execution didn’t work.
     “He survived this execution attempt and they really can’t do it again,” Adele Shank, one of Broom’s lawyers, told The New York Times.
     The American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday’s failed attempt makes “three botched executions in as many years” in Ohio, according to the Times.
     Inmates nationwide have challenged lethal injection as a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which protects people from cruel and unusual punishment.
     Federal public defenders urged U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost in Columbus to let them interview Broom before his execution, claiming the inmate’s testimony would shed light on whether lethal injection amounted to torture.
     On Thursday, Frost granted their request and ordered Broom’s deposition.

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