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Ohio prepares to use new execution drugs

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio prepared on Wednesday to use a new lethal drug combination for the first time in an execution after the US Supreme Court refused to block the sentence of a man for the slaying of a pregnant woman.

Dennis McGuire, jailed on an unrelated assault charge, told investigators he had information about the woman’s Feb. 12, 1989, death. His attempts to blame the crime on his brother-in-law quickly unraveled, and soon he was accused of being Joy Stewart’s killer. More than a decade later, DNA evidence confirmed McGuire’s guilt, and he acknowledged that he was responsible in a letter to Governor John Kasich last month.

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The state planned to execute McGuire on Thursday with a new process adopted after supplies of its previous drug dried up when the manufacturer put it off limits for capital punishment. The two-drug combination has never been used in a US execution.

Officials planned to use intravenous doses of two drugs, the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone, to put McGuire to death.

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