COLUMBUS, Ohio — Finding medical professionals willing to advise Ohio on the best way to put condemned inmates to death is proving difficult because of ethical and professional rules, the state's top attorney said.
The rules – which generally prohibit doctors, nurses and others from involvement in capital punishment – are deterring those professionals from speaking publicly or privately about alternatives to the state's lethal injection process, Attorney General Richard Cordray said.
"A small number of promising leads have emerged, but identifying qualified medical personnel willing and able to provide advice to the State regarding lethal injection options continues to be challenging and time-consuming," Cordray said in the Friday filing in U.S. District Court.
Executions are on hold in Ohio while the state develops new injection policies following a Sept. 15 execution that was stopped because the inmate had no usable veins.
The state has reached out to judges, police and lawmakers for help trying to find medical professionals willing to talk to the state, according to the filing written on Cordray's behalf by Charles Wille, head of Cordray's death penalty unit.