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July 31, 2019

Struggling with an execution protocol, Ohio Gov DeWine delays execution scheduled for Sept 2019 to May 2020

This morning I reported in this post about the discussion and difficulties surrounding Ohio's execution protocol, a matter which needed to be worked out quickly if the state was going to go ahead with a scheduled September execution.  But, as reported in this local article, this afternoon Ohio Gov DeWine "delayed the execution date of convicted murderer Warren Henness, the next Ohio inmate set to be put to death, from Sept. 12 until May 14, 2020."  Here is more:

Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio may need to stop executing people by injection because state officials have been unable to obtain the necessary drugs, according to a DeWine spokesman.

DeWine, a Greene County Republican, has asked legislative leaders to consider legislation that would change Ohio’s 18-year-old law making lethal injection the state’s sole execution method, according to gubernatorial spokesman Dan Tierney....

In January, a federal judge suggested that Ohio’s current three-drug execution cocktail was unconstitutional, leading DeWine to postpone execution dates for Henness and three other men and order a review of the state’s death-penalty method.

However, since then, state officials have found they’ve been unable to purchase new execution drugs, Tierney said. In addition, as many lethal-injection drugs are manufactured primarily for medical use, Tierney said the governor is concerned that if drug companies find that Ohio used its drugs to put people to death, the companies will refuse to sell any of its drugs (not just the ones used in executions) to the state. That could endanger the ability of thousands of Ohioans – such as Medicaid recipients, state troopers, and prison inmates – to get drugs through state programs, Tierney said.

DeWine has pointedly not said which, if any, alternative execution methods he would prefer to see used in Ohio. Tierney said that’s because the governor is concerned that any such comments could affect ongoing death-penalty court cases.

At least one Ohio death-row inmate has asked to be put to death via firing squad. Tennessee brought back use of its electric chair twice last year, and Oklahoma has been working to execute inmates using nitrogen gas.

Even if state lawmakers agree that Ohio should find another way to kill death-row inmates, as the legislature is currently on summer break, it’s unlikely any change in state law will come before this fall, at soonest.

Senate President Larry Obhof told reporters Wednesday that he looks forward to speaking with the governor and House Speaker Larry Householder about what to do about Ohio’s execution method. “I think all three of us approach the issue with an open mind,” said Obhof, a Medina Republican. Obhof added that he thinks a majority of Ohioans support keeping the death penalty itself as an option, though he noted that the Senate is considering legislation that would prohibit executions of people with severe mental illness.

A few (of many) prior recent related posts:

July 31, 2019 at 11:58 PM | Permalink


And I had just bought a new pair of knitting needles for the occasion. Rats!

Posted by: Madame DeFarge | Aug 1, 2019 2:40:55 PM

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