Drug Access Means No More Ohio Executions Likely This Year

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s governor says it’s “highly unlikely” the state’s last execution scheduled for this year will be carried out because of problems finding lethal injection drugs.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday reiterated his concern that drugmakers might cut off supplies of medications to state agencies if they learn any of their drugs were used for capital punishment.

DeWine’s comments mean a probable delay for the Dec. 11 execution of James Hanna. He is sentenced to die for killing cellmate Peter Copas at the Lebanon Correctional Institution in 1997.

DeWine initially delayed executions because of concerns about the constitutionality of the first pharmaceutical used in Ohio’s three-drug method.

That drug is the sedative midazolam. It has been used in several problematic executions. Critics say it doesn’t render inmates deeply unconscious enough.