Ohio executed a killer Tuesday by performing the nation's first lethal injection using a single drug, a supposedly less painful method than previous executions that required three drugs.
Kenneth Biros was pronounced dead at 11:47 a.m. Tuesday, about 10 minutes after one dose of thiopental sodium began flowing into his veins at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. The US Supreme Court had rejected his final appeal about two hours before.
Experts predicted the thiopental sodium would take longer to kill the 51-year-old Biros than the convention three-drug cocktail, but the 10 minutes it apparently took him to die was about the usual length of time even under the method previously used by Ohio and still used by most other death penalty states.
The mother, sister and brother of Biros' victim, Tami Engstrom, applauded as the warden announced the time of death. "Rock on," Debi Heiss, Tami's sister, said a moment earlier as the curtains were drawn for the coroner to check on Biros. "That was too easy."