COLUMBUS (AP) - Ohio is arguing against the delays of three upcoming executions on grounds that the condemned killers have little chance of legal victory and repeated postponements are draining state resources.

Death row inmate Ronald Phillips is scheduled to die Wednesday for the 1993 rape and killing of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Akron.

<p>Ronald Phillips</p>

He and two other inmates are seeking more time from the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal Ohio's lethal injection method.

Their lawyers argue the procedure's first drug, the sedative midazolam, creates an unconstitutional risk of pain by not rendering prisoners deeply unconscious before two other drugs kick in.

The state's lawyers responded Friday that the Constitution doesn't require avoidance of all risk of pain. They also say Ohio risks "ongoing irreparable harm" if execution preparations must be repeated.