Judge orders temporary halt to Ohio executions

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a 2 1/2-month moratorium on executions in Ohio to allow time for arguments over the state’s new lethal injection procedures.

The order delays executions scheduled for July and August while attorneys prepare filings about the state’s decision to boost the dosages of its lethal injection drugs.

The one-page order by Columbus federal judge Gregory Frost on Tuesday affects the state’s latest death penalty policy change, which was announced in late April.

Ohio uses two drugs injected simultaneously in executions. The policy change considerably increases the amount of the sedative and raises the amount of the painkiller.

The procedure update followed the Jan. 16 execution of Dennis McGuire, who repeatedly gasped during the record 26 minutes it took him to die.

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