Ohio seeks drug to reverse lethal injections

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s prisons agency is trying to obtain a drug that could reverse the lethal injection process if needed.

Gary Mohr, director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, says a request to use the drug would come if executioners weren’t confident the first of three lethal drugs would render a prisoner unconscious.

Mohr said in federal court testimony on Jan. 6 that he would inform Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) and ask for a reprieve at that point.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith declined Thursday to comment on Mohr’s testimony, a copy of which was reviewed by The Associated Press.

The drug, flumazenil (fluh-MA’-zeh-nil), is used to reverse the effects of a sedative called midazolam (mih-DAY’-zoh-lam), when that drug causes reactions in patients.

Midazolam is the first drug in Ohio’s new execution method.