Judge Delays Ohio Killer's Execution

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A federal judge has delayed the execution of a condemned Ohio killer of two, agreeing with the inmate that the state enforces its execution policies haphazardly.

Kenneth Smith was scheduled to be put to death July 19 for killing a husband and wife in their Hamilton home during a 1995 robbery.

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost on Friday criticized what he called Ohio's haphazard application of its death penalty protocols.

If upheld on appeal, Frost's decision would allow Smith to argue in an upcoming trial that the state violates the constitution with its uneven application of its rules for executing inmates.

Frost's ruling did not judge whether Ohio's death penalty itself was constitutional. A message was left with the state attorney general's office regarding an appeal.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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