A convicted murderer became the first person in the US executed using a single injection in place of the former three-drug process.
Kenneth Biros was sentenced to death for killing a woman in 1991, then scattering her body parts in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
He was pronounced dead at 4.47pm, about 43 minutes after members of the execution team began preparing him by attempting to insert intravenous needles at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio.
That it took so long for the team to end Biros’s life will be embarrassing for the state, who claimed the single drug, thiopental sodium, was a less painful and faster-acting method than the previous tri-drug process.
* The American way of death
* Lethal injection under review
* ‘We close at five’ mentality in the dock
The actual execution appeared to last just ten minutes, about the usual length of time in the past when Ohio used a three-drug method. The previous half-an-hour was spent finding usable veins.
Biros’ chest heaved up and down several times and he moved his head a couple of times over a period of about two minutes before his body stopped moving.
He apologized for his crime and thanked his friends and family for supporting him.
The mother, sister and brother of his victim applauded as the warden announced the time of death.
Ohio changed from three drugs to a one-drug method after a failed attempt at putting a different inmate to death in September. The new method uses a drug common for euthanizing pets.