APNewsBreak: Untried lethal drugs for Ohio killer

ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP Legal Affairs Writer Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio says it will use a never-tried dose of two drugs injected intravenously to put to death an inmate who raped and killed a pregnant woman.

The approach has never been used in a U.S. execution.

The decision made public Tuesday means the state prisons agency was unable to obtain an unregulated batch of pentobarbital (pen-tuh-BAR'-buh-tahl). That's the drug Ohio used until its manufacturer put it off limits for executions.

The state says it will instead use a combination of the sedative midazolam (my-DAZ'-oh-lam) and the painkiller hydromorphone in the Jan. 16 execution of Dennis McGuire.

Those drugs are included in Ohio's untested backup execution method. That method requires them to be injected directly into an inmate's muscle.