Huffpost Crime

Ronald Phillips, Death Row Inmate, Decides To Donate Organs

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RONALD PHILLIPS
This undated file photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows Ronald Phillips. Back-to-back rulings Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, pushed Phillips, a condemned child killer, closer to being executed next week by a lethal two-drug combination never used in the U.S. (AP Photo/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, File) | AP

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A convicted child killer scheduled for execution this week requested Monday that his organs be donated to help his ailing mother and sister.

Death row inmate Ronald Phillips would also be willing to donate organs to other individuals if it's not possible to help his relatives, his attorney said in a letter to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

"Ron is making this generous request without any conditions or expectations," according to the letter obtained by The Associated Press.

"He is nonetheless willing to do whatever is necessary to enable as many people as possible to benefit from his death," the letter continued.

Phillips' request is not a delay tactic, public defender Lisa Lagos said Monday.

"Ron just wants to be able to do a charitable act and help bring any closure to the victim's family that he can," she said in an interview.

The Ohio prisons agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Phillips' request for mercy was denied last week by Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Phillips has dropped all his appeals, Lagos said.

Phillips, 40, is scheduled to die Thursday by an untried injection of a sedative and painkiller that has never been used in a U.S. execution.

Phillips' mother has kidney disease and is on dialysis and his sister has a heart condition, the letter said.

Phillips was sentenced to die for the rape and death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993.

Attorneys for Phillips note that Ohio has stopped using two drugs that damaged an inmate's organs — one a paralyzing agent, the other a drug that stops the heart.

On Thursday, Ohio plans to use midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a painkiller. It was not immediately clear Monday what effect those might have on organs.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.

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