By Frank Lewis
November 13, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Gov. John R. Kasich has granted Ronald Phillips’ request for a temporary stay of execution so that medical experts can assess whether or not Phillips’ non-vital organs or tissues can be donated to his mother or possibly others. His execution has been rescheduled for July 2, 2014.
“Ronald Phillips committed a heinous crime for which he will face the death penalty,” Kasich said. “I realize this is a bit of uncharted territory for Ohio, but if another life can be saved by his willingness to donate his organs and tissues then we should allow for that to happen.”
Earlier in the day Wednesday, federal judge Gregory Frost declined to block Phillips’ execution at the request of lawyers suing over Ohio’s new process for carrying out capital punishment. Several weeks ago Southern Ohio Correctional Facility Warden Donald Morgan informed the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections that he was out of pentobarbitol, one of the drugs used in the cocktail that causes death.
The state made the decision to go forward with the execution with intravenous administration of Midazolam and Hydromorphone, in accordance with the terms of Policy 01-COM-11 which has been in place since Oct. 10. According to that policy, if the state does not have sufficient quantities of Pentobarbital available, the execution will proceed with only the other two drugs.
Phillips was originally scheduled to be executed Thursday at SOCF for the 1993 murder of three-year-old Sheila Marie Evans, his girlfriend’s daughter. If he is found to be a viable donor to his mother or possibly others awaiting transplants of non-vital organs, such as kidneys, the procedures would be performed and then he would be returned to death row to await his new execution date.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.