Experts debate Ohio’s 1-drug lethal injection

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LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Another successful execution using Ohio’s unique method of a lethal injection of just one drug instead of the traditional three has fueled debate over whether it should be adopted elsewhere.

Ohio on Thursday executed killer Vernon Smith in eight minutes with a dose of sodium thiopental, a common anesthetic. It performed its first such execution last month in 10 minutes.

Some death penalty experts say Ohio’s one-drug method appears to be simpler, about as fast and potentially less painful than the three-drug method. But they say other states probably will want to see it debated in the courts before adopting it based on just two executions.

Smith was executed for the 1993 shooting death of a Toledo shopkeeper. The victim’s widow and two daughters witnessed his execution at age 37.