Ohio Governor Postpones Four Executions Due to Concerns Raised by Drug Manufacturers

By September 10, 2021 January 28th, 2022 No Comments

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine granted four reprieves due to the unavailability of lethal injection drugs, continuing the state’s recent trend of postponing executions.

According to a press release, these reprieves were issued “due to ongoing problems involving the willingness of pharmaceutical suppliers to provide drugs to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), pursuant to DRC protocol, without endangering other Ohioans.” Companies that manufacture drugs used in Ohio executions have spoken out in opposition to the misuse of their products in lethal injections, saying their medicines should be used to save and improve lives rather than end them.

The reprieves followed Governor DeWine’s December 2020 announcement that lawmakers must choose a different method of capital punishment if any prisoners are to be put to death, explaining that “[l]ethal injection appears to us to be impossible from a practical point of view today.” Since lethal injection is the only currently approved execution method in Ohio, the governor’s announcement resulted in an “unofficial moratorium” on capital punishment.

In the last two years, Governor DeWine has issued a series of reprieves due to public health concerns associated with the misuse of medicines in executions.