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Ohio Governor Kasich delays execution of death row inmate

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By Jim Leckrone

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - Ohio Governor John Kasich Thursday postponed the execution of a death row inmate in response to a judge's ruling questioning the state's execution practices.

Kasich postponed the execution of Brett Hartman from August 16, 2011 until November 13, 2012.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost delayed the scheduled July 19 execution of death row inmate Kenneth Wayne Smith after finding Ohio enforces some of its execution policies inconsistently.

"Ohio pays lip service to standards it then often ignores without valid reasons," Frost wrote, "sometimes with no physical ramification and sometimes with what has been described as messy if not botched executions."

According to the governor, the postponement will give the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction the needed time to implement changes to the execution protocol mandated by the judge's ruling.

Hartman was sentenced to death for the 1997 killing of Winda Snipes in Akron.

Smith and other inmates argued to Foster that Ohio does not always have the required number of medical team members present for an execution and does not always properly document the preparation of drugs.

Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the correction department, said it is in the process of drafting more comprehensive policies and practices in light of the court decision.

The draft is not yet available to the public but is expected to be completed in time for the next scheduled execution, which is that of inmate Billy Slagle on September 20, 2011.

On Tuesday, the Parole Board unanimously recommended against clemency for Slagle to the governor. He was convicted of the murder of a woman in 1987.

(Writing and reporting by Jim Leckrone; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)