For the first time in three years, there likely won’t be an execution in Ohio this year. That’s according to Gov. Mike DeWine, who says an execution planned for December probably won’t go forward.
James Galen Hanna is set to die for a Toledo murder in 1978 on Dec. 11. But DeWine has doubts.
“No, I think that’s highly unlikely. That’s probably not going to happen," DeWine said.
DeWine has said he’s worried that pharmaceutical companies will cut off the state’s access to drugs for Medicaid and other programs if their drugs are used in executions. And DeWine noted that since 2001, state law has allowed capital punishment to be carried out only by lethal injection.
But he’s careful not to say it’s time to abolish the death penalty: “These are discussions that the legislature is going to have to have."
There have been several suggestions on how to continue capital punishment with the lingering troubles in acquiring drugs. One Republican lawmaker suggested using confiscated fentanyl, though that's not been officially proposed. Other ideas that have been proposed - sometimes with no further discussion - include using nitrogen in executions.
DeWine has already delayed an execution set for next month, after delaying five executions earlier this year.
There are 24 inmates on the execution schedule through 2024.