Trial set in latest challenge to Ohio death penalty process


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Attorneys for death row inmates and lawyers for Ohio’s prisons agency are back in court this week in the latest challenge to the way the state puts condemned killers to death.

The four-day trial beginning Tuesday in federal court in Columbus focuses on Ohio’s updated execution process and a new 3-drug method similar to one used several years ago.

Some of the testimony in the trial overseen by Magistrate Judge Michael Merz will come from members of the state execution team who will answer questions anonymously while sitting behind courtroom screens.

The state defends the new process as constitutional. Defense attorneys say multiple problems remain with the way Ohio prepares and carries out executions.

The state prisons agency plans to execute child killer Ronald Phillips Feb. 15.

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