Judge extends moratorium on Ohio executions

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge has extended a months-long moratorium on executions in Ohio as debate over the state’s new two-drug combination continues.

The moratorium was to end this week. The new order extends it through Jan. 15.

That will delay executions scheduled for September, October, November and January, and highlights the ongoing problem faced by states in obtaining drugs to put inmates to death.

The one-page order by Columbus federal judge Gregory Frost issued Friday affects the state’s latest death penalty policy change, which was announced in late April and increases the amount of the sedative and painkiller Ohio uses.

On Jan. 16, an Ohio inmate repeatedly gasped during the record 26 minutes it took him to die, and an Arizona inmate who took nearly two hours to die July 23.

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