Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) granted a six-month stay of execution for a convicted child killer on Wednesday so that the state can look into the possibility of taking organ donations from death row inmates like him, NBC News reported.
Kasich’s order came a day before 40-year-old Ronald Phillips was scheduled to be executed via lethal injection. The state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction had already turned down his petition to donate his organs.
“I realize this is a bit of uncharted territory for Ohio,” Kasich was quoted as saying in a statement. “But if another life can be saved by his willingness to donate his organs and tissues then we should allow for that to happen.”
Kasich had previously denied a clemency request from Phillips, who told a judge on Nov. 1 that prison officials could not find veins in his arm during a checkup and that he suffered from a lifelong fear of needles. The Los Angeles Times reported that Phillips’ mother is on dialysis as a result of kidney disease, and his sister suffers from heart disease.
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that state officials will determine whether Phillips’ non-vital organs are suitable for transplant, in which case he would undergo surgery in Columbus, Ohio before returning to death row to await execution, now scheduled for July 2, 2014.
Phillips was convicted for raping and beating his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter to death in 1993. His execution was originally slated to be the first involving a new mixture for the fatal injection, the sedative midazolam and hydromorphone, a painkiller.
Watch a report from WSYX-TV, aired on Tuesday, below.