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Governor Says Ohio Has to Change Execution Method

Lethal injection no longer an option, he says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 8, 2020 5:31 PM CST
Governor Says Ohio Has to Change Execution Method
In this Feb. 27, 2020 photo, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at a news conference on COVID-19 at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

Lethal injection is no longer an option for Ohio executions, and lawmakers must choose a different method of capital punishment before any inmates can be put to death in the future, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday. It's "pretty clear" there won't be any executions next year, DeWine told the AP in a year-end interview, adding he doesn't see support in the Legislature for making a switch in execution method a priority. Ohio has an "unofficial moratorium" on capital punishment, he said. "Lethal injection appears to us to be impossible from a practical point of view today," the governor said. The state’s last execution was on July 18, 2018.

DeWine said he still supports capital punishment as Ohio law. But he has come to question its value since the days he helped write the state's current law—enacted in 1981—because of the long delays between crime and punishment. DeWine called himself "much more skeptical about whether it meets the criteria that was certainly in my mind when I voted for the death penalty and that was that it in fact did deter crime, which to me is the moral justification." Former Republican House Speaker Larry Householder, now under federal indictment for his alleged role in a $60 million bribery scheme, questioned last year whether the state should reconsider capital punishment because of the cost and Ohio’s inability to find lethal drugs. (A Trump administration rule change will allow federal execution by firing squad.)

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