Death Penalty

Convicted killer's execution stayed by governor in order to weigh his organ-donation request

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich has stepped in to delay a convicted killer’s execution after the condemned man asked to donate his organs to ailing family members, the Associated Press reports.

Ronald Phillips had sought to donate his kidney to his mother and his heart to his sister. But the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction had said it was not equipped to facilitate organ donation, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, ABC News and the Associated Press.

Gov. Kasich announced Wednesday that although Phillips’ crime was heinous, in the interest of saving lives, the state should examine whether it would be possible for the organs to be donated. The governor rescheduled the execution for July 2 to give the state time to study the feasibility of the proposition.

An executed inmate has never been an organ donor in the United States, a spokeswoman for the educational nonprofit Lifebanc told the Beacon Journal.

Phillips was convicted of raping and killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter in 1993. He had been scheduled to die Thursday by lethal injection using a mixture of drugs that has never before been used in a U.S. execution.

This story was updated at 3:40 p.m. in light of the governor’s announcement.

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