The U.S. Supreme Court . . . denied [without comment] the state's appeal of decisions in inmate Charles Lorraine's case that said Ohio had strayed too far from its execution policies to be trusted to carry out the death sentence for now.
Federal courts must monitor every Ohio execution "because the State cannot be trusted to fulfill its otherwise lawful duty to execute inmates sentenced to death," the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month.
The court upheld an earlier decision by U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost that chided Ohio for not following his warnings to adhere strictly to their policies.
"Do not lie to the Court, do not fail to do what you tell this Court you must do, and do not place the Court in the position of being required to change course in this litigation after every hearing," Frost wrote.
Such a pointed and direct rebuff of state officials for ignoring court orders comes up every now and then in the South, where there is a strong political culture of resisting federal authority, but is stunning in a state like Ohio.