United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division, Columbus
In re OHIO EXECUTION PROTOCOL LITIGATION, This relates to All Plaintiffs
A. Sargus, Jr. Chief Judge.
ORDER TO PROVIDE INFORMATION
Michael R. Merz United States Magistrate Judge.
afternoon of January 9, 2017, the Court received word that
the Columbus Dispatch was reporting that the Ohio Department
of Corrections and Rehabilitation had received additional
supplies of midazolam, rocuronium bromide, and potassium
chloride. That report was repeated in the Dispatch on January
10, 2017 and in an Associated Press newsbreak on the same
date. When the undersigned inquired in open court if there
had been a public announcement, the Court was advised that
there had not been. The news stories indicate the source of
their information is “inventory logs obtained by The
Associated Press through a public records request”
which is consistent with information provided to the Court
verbally by Stephen Gray, general counsel to ODRC. The
Associated Press extrapolates from the logs that Ohio now
“could conceivably carry out dozens of executions with
these supplies.” Although the AP reports that
“[a] spokeswoman for the Ohio prisons agency declined
to comment, ” the Court requires comment from ODRC.
status conference on October 3, 2016, Defendants indicated
they intended to execute Ronald Phillips, Raymond Tibbetts,
and Gary Otte with the three-drug protocol they announced in
that same conference, at least implying that their supply of
the drugs was not so plentiful that they expected to be able
to continue executions beyond those three men. (Transcript of
Conference, ECF No. 672, PageID 19898.) . It was therefore
only as to those three Plaintiffs that the Court dissolved
the stay of proceedings (Order Partially Vacating Stay and
Setting Schedule, ECF No. 658, PageID 19732). As of October
3, 2016, according to the Court's notes, execution dates
had been set for twenty-six death row inmates; inmate and
Plaintiff Lawrence Landrum has had a date set since
State of Ohio has sufficient execution drugs on hand to
proceed with executions beyond those of Phillips, Tibbetts,
and Otte, it is hereby ORDERED to file with the Court, not
later than January 13, 2017, a statement of its intentions.
Other Plaintiffs besides the named three have a right to
proceed with this litigation if Ohio believes it is now ready
to proceed with their executions. The Court notes, for
example, that the execution of Alva Campbell, Jr., appears to
be set for May 10, 2017, and that of Donald Ketterer for a
week later on May 17, 2017. If the State intends to proceed
with those executions as scheduled, there is now only as much
time left before the Campbell execution as there was left
before the Phillips execution as scheduled for January 2017
when the Court partially vacated the stay. Counsel are aware
of how demanding the scheduling has been since October
(reflected in 256 docket entries to date).
emergency proceedings are not an appropriate way to conduct
this important litigation.
 The Court has learned this from news
accounts; no copy of the death warrant has been filed in
either this case or Landrum habeas corpus ...