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Kenneth Biros

An Ohio district court on Thursday ordered a stay of execution for convicted murderer Kenneth Biros.

Biros, formerly of Brookfield, was to be executed Jan. 23 for the murder and dismemberment of Tami Engstrom, Hubbard, 15 years ago.

The execution was stayed because of a constitutional challenge to lethal injection as an execution method in Ohio.

The challenge is being looked at with renewed interest after a recently botched execution in Florida where a condemned inmate had the lethal cocktail injected into his muscle rather than his vein, said Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Sean O’Brien.

As a result, the inmate’s death was prolonged to about 30 minutes, said O’Brien.

In the decision, District Judge Gregory L. Frost cited Eighth Amendment concerns, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

The court said there was enough evidence that lethal injection could cause the death penalty to be cruel and unusual to grant the stay for Biros while the case is decided.

Also, the court said that flaws in lethal injection ought to be “readily fixable,” so that “any delay in carrying out Biros’s execution should and can be minimal.”

The decision later added, “the public interest has never been and could never be served by rushing to judgment at the expense of a condemned inmate’s constitutional rights.”

O’Brien said the execution would be stayed “for a little while” while courts sort out how to handle executions and lethal injection. He mentioned six months as one possibility.

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