Ohio: Changes in execution process constitutional

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The deviations from official death penalty procedures made during an execution last year were minor changes that wouldn't cause pain to an inmate or violate his rights, the state said in a filing Friday seeking to overturn a judge's ruling that postponed next week's execution of a man who stabbed an elderly couple to death 25 years ago.

Attorneys for Charles Lorraine argued that the deviations were important enough to cause concern that Ohio was still not following its own rules for putting inmates to death.

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost agreed, and on Wednesday stopped Lorraine's execution while acknowledging he didn't want to be micromanaging Ohio's death penalty processes.

Frost said the state failed to document the drugs used in its last execution in November and failed to review the medical chart of the inmate put to death.

Attorneys for the state had argued previously that the changes were negligible, and they said Friday the execution should proceed.

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