Ohio halts executions, plans to use new mix of drugs in 2016

No death-row inmates will be executed in Ohio this year, as the state transitions to a new mix of lethal drugs to put people to death. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which made the announcement in January, had previously planned to execute six people in 2015.
According to The Washington Post, a shortage of lethal-injection drugs has left Ohio and other states seeking new drug combinations to put people to death. In some cases, those new combinations have been linked to prolonged executions.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case this year challenging the state of Oklahoma’s drug protocol on the grounds that it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Ohio is eliminating the use of the two-drug regimen midazolam and hydromorphone. Thiopental sodium, a drug previously used in the state from 1999 to 2011, will be added to the protocol.

Meanwhile, to address the problem of drug shortages, Ohio lawmakers passed a bill in late 2014 (HB 663) that shields the identities of companies that provide lethal-injection drugs to the state. Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota are among the 32 U.S. states with capital punishment, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Stateline Midwest - February 20151.66 MB