Following the use of a faulty drug cocktail, three death row inmates have requested to have more witnesses present at executions. US District Court Magistrate Michael Merz had denied the request put in by attorneys representing the inmates. The request had asked for specifically, "two trained persons" such as anybody in the medical field to assure the execution was being carried out in a way that it follows the Constitution.

The decision

Merz had stated there would be no evidence a medical professional could evaluate the inmate's consciousness from a viewing room and they would be a biased, as they are a part of an inmate's legal team.

Tuesday morning, the attorneys have been reported to have requested that Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan, delay the executions as she handles appeals in Ohio. These executions have been given the go-ahead by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals following a June ruling that allowed executions to resume.

The Sixth Court's ruling has gone against previous rulings in higher courts, making attorneys believe that the Supreme Court may actually take on the appeal. The attorneys have said that the death penalty has been a recurring national issue that is extremely important which would also urge the Supreme Court to take on the appeal.

The drug in question

midozalam, the controversial Lethal Injection drug, has been criticized by Merz in the past. The drug is sued in stopping the heart alongside another drug.

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Inmate Ronald Phillips, has been sentenced to die using Midozalam on July 26th. Ohio executions will resume on that day as well, after a three year halt on all executions. Protests have been held outside Governor John Kasich's office urging him to stop executions in the state entirely. The last time Ohio had executed anybody, major issues had happened. In 2014, inmate Dennis McGuire had been gasping for air for 15 minutes following the administration of the cocktail that featured Midozalam. His adult children and wife had watched from the viewing room as he struggled to breathe before finally dying.

The halt on death has been in place due to looking to find a more "humane" lethal drug, with lethal injections having the highest rate of being botched out of all execution methods. Phillips has begged for relief from death, as the now planned date would be the seventh time he has been set to die. The challenge of lethal injection protocols may spare him again, if not, he will die next week and be the first of many planned executions in the state. Two more inmates are scheduled to die in September and October if all goes as planned for Ohio.