Updated Thu, Jan 23, 2014 4:41 pm
UPDATE 4:38 p.m. A condemned Ohio killer is suing to stop his March execution, alleging the state's capital punishment policy leaves open the chance an inmate could remain clinically alive after being pronounced dead.
Attorneys for death row prisoner Gregory Lott say inmates also run the risk of experiencing unnecessary pain under the state's current execution system.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court asks a judge to halt Lott's March 19 execution, declare the state's new policy unconstitutional, and determine that Ohio is violating state and federal drug laws by its use of drugs without a prescription.
Lott was sentenced to die for killing 82-year-old John McGrath by setting him on fire in his East Cleveland home in 1986.
Courts halted plans to execute the 51-year-old Lott ten years ago.
The governor's office says it heard from death penalty opponents and supporters following the longest execution since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999.
A spokesman for Republican Gov. John Kasich tells the Dayton Daily News the office received about 100 calls and emails after the execution of Dennis McGuire last week, with about half favoring capital punishment and half against it.
The 53-year-old McGuire gasped, snorted and took 26 minutes to die as he received a two-drug combination that had never been used in a U.S. execution.
McGuire's adult children say it amounted to torture. They plan to sue the state.
Kasich's spokesman says the procedure is being reviewed.
McGuire's attorney, a civil rights-organization and some Democratic lawmakers are among those urging a moratorium on Ohio executions.