In January, the state of Ohio used a mixture of midazolam and hydromorphone, a never before used combination, in the execution of Dennis McGuire. It took McGuire 25 minutes to die in what defense attorney Allen Bohnert called a “failed, agonizing experiment.”
State Corrections Department spokesman Jerry Massie declined to confirm the change to procedure, again stating the agency would not comment on ongoing litigation. Massie deferred questions Monday to the Oklahoma attorney general’s office.
Any changes to execution procedure are initiated and overseen by the state Correction Department, and the attorney general’s office is unable to comment on it or confirm changes to it, said Diane Clay, spokeswoman for the attorney general.
States are having a harder time finding lethal injection drugs as manufacturers and compounding pharmacies have come under public scrutiny and have become increasingly reluctant to provide them for executions.