Ronald Phillips set to die as Ohio prepares to resume executions Wednesday

What drugs will be used to put Ronald Phillips to death?

Ronald Phillips confessed to beating, raping and killing his girlfriend's three year old daughter Sheila Marie Evans.  He was sentenced to death in 1993.

Since then he's been trying to avoid Ohio's death house and now after appeals, his fate may rest with the U.S. Supreme Court.

His lawyers want the court to consider his age at the time of the crime, just 19, and Ohio's use of Midazolam, a drug that critics claim may not render the inmate totally unconscious and free of pain before the other drugs kick in. 

A federal appeals court ruled the drug constitutional in June.

The three and a half year halt to executions began after the death of Dennis McGuire in 2014. He choked and gasped through what was the longest execution in Ohio history.

Similar reactions happened in other state executions that used Midazolam. 

The state struggled to find drugs it would prefer to use because manufacturers refused to make them available for executions.

So Ohio had to change its lethal injection method, from two drugs to a three drug combination that's never been tried before. but Midazolam is still in the mix, only this time the dose will be upped to 500 milligrams compared to the 10 milligrams used with McGuire. This is first drug to put Phillips to sleep.

The execution team will then proceed with rocuronium bromide, a paralytic agent meant to shut down respiration, and then potassium chloride to stop the heart.

Meanwhile, anti-capital punishment activists delivered thousands of petitions to Governor Kasich's office, asking him to commute the death sentences of Phillips and 26 others.

Kasich denied clemency to Phillips twice and his spokesman says he will monitor Wednesday's execution. If the Supreme Court doesn't act, Kasich would be the last with the ability to stop it. 

NOTE: Monica Robins is one of five media representatives chosen to witness the execution.  If the execution is not stopped, she will bring us her first-hand account of what happened on Wednesday.  

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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