Ohio on Wednesday executed its first prisoner in more than three years, ending Ronald Philipps’ life via lethal injection.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said that the procedure lasted about 12 minutes without complications, leading to Philipps’ death at 10:43 a.m. there.
Phillips died at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, potentially signaling the return of capital punishment in Ohio.
The prisoner was sentenced to die for the 1993 rape and murder of Sheila Marie Evans, his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter.
Twitter users on Wednesday debated the merits of executing criminals like Phillips, with some saying the penalty was deserved and others voicing displeasure with the punishment.
Philipps said “Sheila Marie didn’t deserve what I did to her” before he was executed, also apologizing to his victim’s family.
“I’m sorry you had to live so long with my actions,” the 43-year-old said, one day after the Supreme Court denied his request for more time to pursue legal arguments against his penalty.
Philipps’ final appeal to the Supreme Court included a challenge of Ohio’s three-drug cocktail for conducting executions.
The combination includes a sedative called midalozam that has figured in problematic executions in Ohio and other states.
Critics of midazolam say the drug is incapable of consistently rendering someone unconscious or preventing them serious pain.
Ohio uses midazolam in conjunction with rocuronium bromide, which paralyzes prisoners, and potassium chloride, which stops their hearts.
The Buckeye State halted its use of the death penalty in January 2014 after a condemned inmate spent 26 minutes gasping and snorting after getting the cocktail.
Phillips’ 2016 parole document said that Marie died in Akron, OH in 1993 following a severe beating from him.
The prisoner also admitted to raping her on Jan. 18, 1993 and two previous times before that instance.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.