Court: Ohio can again try to execute man after failed attempt

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Ohio Delays Executions Until 2017

CLEVELAND, March 16 (Reuters) - The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the state could again try to execute convicted killer Romell Broom after failing to do so seven years ago.

In a 4-3 ruling written by Justice Judith Lanzinger, the court said the state would not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment or double jeopardy by executing Broom, a Cleveland man sentenced to death for murdering 14-year-old Tryna Middleton in 1984.

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If Broom is put to death, he would be the first person on which a second execution has been attempted in the United States since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

RELATED GALLERY: Notable death penalty executions and people on death row

Notable death penalty executions and people on death row
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Court: Ohio can again try to execute man after failed attempt

Willie Francis, the first known incident of failed execution by lethal injection, was executed on May 9, 1947. He was sentenced to death for the murder of his former boss, Andrew Thomas. 

(AP Photo/File)

John Wayne Gacy, a rapist and serial killer responsible for the sexual assaults and murders of at least 33 men, was executed in Illinois on May 10, 1994. 

(AP Photo/File)

Ted Bundy, a kidnapper, rapist, and serial killer responsible for the assaults and murders of dozens of young women, was executed in in Florida on January 24, 1989. His actual victim count remains unknown.

(AP Photo/File)

Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer responsible for the deaths of seven men, was executed in Florida on October 9, 2002. 

(AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove)

Charles Starkweather, a spree killer responsible for eleven murders, was executed in Nebraska on June 25, 1959. 

(AP Photo/Don Ultang)

Timothy McVeigh, responsble for the Oklahoma City bombing, was executed in Indiana on June 11, 2001.

(AP Photo/File)

Thomas Provenzano, a convicted murderer responsible for shooting three people, was executed in Florida on June 21, 2000.

(AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove)

Gary Gilmore, responsible for the shooting deaths of two men, was executed in Utah on January 17, 1977.

(AP Photo)

Stanley "Tookie" Williams, founder and leader of the Crips gang responsible for several murders and other crimes, was executed in California on December 13, 2005.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Teresa Lewis, convicted of murdering her husband and stepson, was executed in Virginia on September 23, 2010.

(AP Photo/Va Dept of Corrections)

William Bonin, a serial killer responsible for a minimum of 21 rapes and murders, was executed in California on February 23, 1996.

(AP Photo/File)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, responsible for Boston Marathon bombing, was sentenced to death on May 15, 2015.

(AP Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation, File)

Nidal Malik Hasan, responsible for Ford Hood shooting, was sentenced to death on August 28, 2013.

(AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department, File)

Joseph E. Duncan III, a convicted murderer and sex offender, was sentenced to death on August 27, 2008.

(AP Photo/Kootenai County First Appearance Video Court)

Death row prisoner Coy Wayne Wesbrook is photographed Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Polunsky Unit outside Livingston, Texas. Wesbrook, 58, is set for lethal injection March 9, 2016, for the November 1997 fatal shootings of his ex-wife and another man at her apartment in Channelview, just east of Houston. They were among five people killed during the shooting rampage. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)

Ohio's execution of Broom in 2009 was called off after two hours when officials failed 18 times to attach intravenous needles to administer the chemicals used in the process.

Broom's lawyers appealed, saying a second attempt violated the 8th Amendment's cruel and unusual punishment statute and the 5th Amendment's right against double jeopardy.

In April 2011, a Cuyahoga County court found that repeated needle sticks were "unpleasant" but not in violation of Broom's constitutional rights. Broom then appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Lanzinger agreed with the lower court. "There is no question that lethal drugs did not enter Broom's body," she wrote. "The execution attempt was halted after preparations to establish a viable IV line were unsuccessful."

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Judith L. French asked: "If the state cannot explain why the Broom execution went wrong, then the state cannot guarantee that the outcome would be different the next time."

Ohio in 2015 delayed all scheduled executions until 2017 due to the difficulty obtaining the drugs necessary to carry out lethal injections. One of 31 U.S. states with the death penalty, it has not executed an inmate since January 2014 and had planned 11 executions in 2016.

Ohio has put 53 inmates to death since 1999, when it carried out its first execution since 1976. There are 139 inmates on the state's death row, according to prison officials. (Reporting by Kim Palmer, Editing by Ben Klayman, G Crosse and Lisa Von Ahn)

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