State Watch

DeWine says lethal injection ‘impossible’ option for Ohio executions

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced on Tuesday that lethal injections will no longer be an option for capital punishment when Ohio inmates are executed in the future.

Speaking to The Associated Press, DeWine said it was “pretty clear” that there would be no executions in 2021. According to DeWine, there is an “unofficial moratorium” on capital punishment in Ohio.

“Lethal injection appears to us to be impossible from a practical point of view today,” DeWine said.

Despite the new rule, DeWine maintained that he still supports capital punishment in Ohio law, though he admitted to questioning it due to the long periods between crime and punishment.

DeWine told the AP he was “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.”

Robert Van Hook was the last inmate executed in Ohio, put to death on July 18, 2018, for killing David Self in 1985.

Ohio’s use of capital punishment was called into question by former state House Speaker Larry Householder (R) last year.

At the time of Householder’s statements, lethal injections were the only method of execution allowed in Ohio. According to Householder, the inability to find suitable alternatives to lethal injections was reason to support ending capital punishment.

“Well, I don’t think we want to come back to hanging, and I don’t think shootings would be good,” Householder said.

A new ruling made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in November could allow states to use other methods of execution such as electrocution, poison gas and a firing squad. The new rules will go into effect on Dec. 24.

Attorney General William Barr recently resumed federal executions following a 17-year hiatus. The same month the new DOJ rules were announced, the department also announced three more executions set to take place before President-elect Joe Biden assumes office in January.

Tags Capital punishment Capital punishment in Ohio Joe Biden Lethal injection Mike DeWine Ohio William Barr

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