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Judge backs Ohio execution system

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 22 (UPI) -- A federal judge says while the lethal-injection system used in death sentences in Ohio may be flawed, it is not unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost ruled a convicted killer failed to support his claim adequately that the drug execution system violates constitutional rights by causing prisoners to suffer extreme pain before death, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch said Wednesday.

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"Ohio's method of execution by lethal injection is a flawed system," Frost said Tuesday's ruling. "The weaknesses that pervade this system are not so profound, however, that they ... present this court with a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

The Dispatch said Frost granted attorneys for convicted killer Kenneth Biros a stay of execution in late 2006 for the inmate's execution originally scheduled for Jan. 23, 2007.

That ruling lead to a March hearing in Columbus that featured testimony on the execution method from medical experts and state execution officials, the newspaper said.

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