After six postponements, the 43-year-old Summit County man was executed Wednesday for a murder he committed 24 years ago, a week into Bill Clinton’s first term as president. Phillips’ victim was Sheila Marie Evans, the 3-year-old daughter of his then-girlfriend.
The ABA is “deeply concerned” about Ohio’s plans to resume executions, according to a statement by ABA President Linda A. Klein. Ohio has not implemented important reforms to improve the accuracy and fairness of the death penalty that were recommended in a 2007 report, according to Klein’s statement.
Justices denied the 43-year-old Phillips a stay on three requests, with a pair of justices dissenting on a request by Phillips that was joined by two other death row inmates with upcoming execution dates. The inmates had asked the court for a delay while they continue challenging Ohio’s new lethal-injection method.
A prisons department spokeswoman said Ronald Phillips arrived at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville at about 10:15 a.m. Tuesday. That’s about 24 hours before he is set to die in Ohio’s first execution in more than three years.
Fifteen pharmacology professors are arguing to stop the impending execution of a condemned Ohio killer on grounds that a sedative being used is incapable of inducing unconsciousness or preventing severe pain.
Father Lawrence Hummer had been told the lethal injection of Dennis McGuire would probably take about five minutes. Just about that much time had passed when something ghastly happened. “He started struggling for breath,” said Hummer, who knew McGuire from masses he celebrated for Ohio’s Catholic death-row prisoners and volunteered to be a witness at his January 2014 execution.
Nearly a dozen anti-death penalty groups are hoping nearly 100,000 signatures will get Ohio Governor John Kasich to put the state’s first execution in more than three years on hold.
Instead of wasting resources trying to execute a handful of killers, Ohio can do better for all victims’ families. My family could have used counseling and other kinds of support instead, which I believe would have helped our recovery and grief. Ohio does provide some support to victims’ families, but it varies greatly among Ohio’s 88 counties. Fix that.