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Ohio Postpones Execution Amid Drug Controversy

The state is embroiled in a controversy over a reportedly prolonged January execution.

Amid controversy over the reportedly prolonged execution of an Ohio man injected with a never-before-used drug cocktail, Gov. John Kasich has delayed the scheduled execution of a convicted killer until Nov. 19.

Kasich did not cite a specific reason for the postponement, but the state has been ensnared in a debate over the drugs used in lethal injections after convicted killer Dennis McGuire was injected with an untested mix of midazolam and hydromorphone — and then reportedly took nearly 25 minutes to die as he appeared to gasp for air.

Gregory Lott, who was scheduled to be executed March 19, is now scheduled to be put to death on Nov. 19, Kasich ordered.

Federal public defenders representing Lott had asked U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost to stop Lott's scheduled execution, citing issues with the Jan. 16 execution of McGuire.

They said there is a “substantial risk of lingering death, of degradation, and of unnecessary pain and suffering” under Ohio’s current protocol, according to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.

Lott, 51, was convicted and sentented to death for murdering John McGrath, 82, after setting him on fire in his Cleveland house in 1986, the newspaper reported. McGrath survived in a hospital for 11 days before dying.

Lott was nearly executed in 2004, but the U.S. Supreme Court blocked it.

— Daniel Arkin