A lawyer representing the state of Ohio said that the state must have the ability to call off an execution when problems occur and know that the process is not just "one and done.," according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
In September 2009 the state tried to execute Romell Broom by injection, but the state's execution team was unable to insert two shunts into a vein through which the lethal drugs could be pushed into Broom's body.
The team tried for 45 minutes before taking a break. More attempts were made, but after two hours the state's prison director recommended the process be stopped. Gov. Ted Strickland then ordered a temporary reprieve.
The court ruled that Broom's rights protecting him from being punished twice for the same crime were not violated because the first attempt did not constitute an execution as defined by state law.
"There is no question that lethal drugs did not enter Broom's body," Justice Lanzinger wrote. "The execution attempt was halted after preparations to establish a viable IV line were unsuccessful."
State law defines an execution as commencing when lethal drugs enter the IV line to the inmate's body. Since that did not happen, double jeopardy protections did not attach, she wrote.
Following the 2009 attempt, Broom's legal team sought to keep the state from making a second attempt to execute him.
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