Ohio's Trouble: 24 Executions, No Drugs

State has just 4 months to line them up
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2015 5:02 PM CDT
In this 2007 file photo, a hearse carries the body of James Filiaggi from Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, following his execution.   (Scott Osborne)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Ohio has four months to get the lethal drugs it needs to execute two-dozen condemned killers, the first of whom is scheduled to die Jan. 21. The state's last execution was performed in January 2014, when it tested a new two-drug execution method that left a condemned man gasping and snorting over a 26-minute procedure. After that, Ohio attempted to switch to different drugs for executions, but it hasn't been able to get its hands on them yet. This is a problem run into by a number of states as pharmaceutical companies are stopping production on such drugs or not allowing them to be used in executions. Ohio's most recent attempt to obtain drugs—importing non-FDA-approved versions from overseas—was blocked by the federal government.

Opponents of the death penalty say the state's inability to find the drugs it needs is a wakeup call to end capital punishment in Ohio, while others would simply like the state to find a different way to carry out executions, such as nitrogen gas. Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is issuing the same statement it has been for months: "[The department] continues to seek all legal drugs necessary to carry out court-ordered executions." With the Jan. 21 execution date fast approaching, Gov. John Kasich says he still believes Ohio has time to find the drugs it needs.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |