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Ohio postpones all executions this year while officials search for new lethal drug mix

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Ohio will postpone all six executions scheduled for 2015 because it needs more time to prepare for a new execution procedure and to secure a new supply of execution drugs, the state’s prison department said on Friday.

Earlier this month, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction halted use of the two-drug lethal injection combination of the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone after the protracted death of an inmate last year.

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The state prison system wants to add a drug, thiopental sodium, previously used for lethal injections from 1999 to 2011, and pentobarbital as the two drugs permitted for lethal injections in the future.

Ohio and other states with the death penalty are seeking new execution drug formulations after some pharmaceutical companies stopped supplying products because they no longer wanted to be associated with capital punishment.

Last January, Ohio was the first state to use the combination of midazolam and hydromorphone when it executed Dennis McGuire for the 1993 rape and murder of a pregnant woman.
 
McGuire’s execution took 25 minutes and witnesses said he gasped and seized for 15 of those minutes.

A federal judge in May ordered a halt to Ohio executions to give attorneys for condemned inmates time to prepare challenges to the state’s new plans for lethal injections.

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In December, Ohio passed a law that provided confidentiality to compounding pharmacies that prepare the lethal formulations. Four death row inmates have filed a federal lawsuit against the new law, saying it violates their right to due process.

One of the plaintiffs, Ronald Phillips, was scheduled for execution on February 11 for the rape and murder of his girlfriend’s 3-year old daughter. The Phillips execution has been moved to Jan. 21, 2016, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction.

A total of eleven death row inmates in Ohio are now scheduled for execution in 2016.

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The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Wednesday to temporarily block the execution of three Oklahoma inmates who are challenging that state’s lethal injection procedure.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer, editing by Mary Wisniewski and Diane Craft)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘He’s empty’: Psychiatrist warns Trump is in a ‘psychotic-like state’

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Dr. Lance Dodes warned that things were going to get worse under President Donald Trump in 2017. That's precisely what happened.

"Is that what we're seeing this week?" MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell ased the psychiatrist.

"Absolutely. Donald Trump, because he has a fundamental need to be all-powerful and all loved, can't stand challenges," Dr. Dodes said. "And the nature of democracy is that it challenges people. We have more than one opinion. So the more -- it was predictable once he got into a position where people would challenge him, there are two parties, he would become more unhinged.

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Elementary school cheer squad parents raffling off an AM-15 automatic weapon as a fundraiser

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Just weeks after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people, only 200 miles away in Richmond, the cheer squad is selling raffle tickets to sell a semi-automatic gun.

Fox19 reported Wednesday that the Junior Lions Cheer Team have infuriated Heather Chilton, who's 7-year-old daughter is on the squad for the first time.

"This is absurd, you're having elementary kids sell your AR-15. Why?" Chilton said. "I highly doubt that something would happen with the gun, but say it did. Say one of the kids in the high school got a hold of it — got the AR-15 or AM-15 and shot up a school with it, and I'm the one that sold the raffle ticket to his dad?"

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I think Trump’s people sit around ‘thinking up new ways to be cruel’: Senator

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On Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) tore into the Trump administration for its treatment of migrant children, as yet more reports come in of children being denied basic services in squalid conditions, and as Trump considers ways to get around the federal consent decree placing limits on how long they can be detained.

"We already know from so many child specialists that detaining children in these kinds of facilities does irreparable damage to them," said Hirono. "There are alternatives to family detention this administration could care less about ... the only way to get around the consent agreement is by getting around it by proposing or having this rule, which will be immediately challenged. They want to detain families indefinitely, children indefinitely, held in situations that do them absolutely no good when there are alternatives."

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