Governor Mike DeWine freezes all executions in Ohio while a new method is developed

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governor Mike DeWine said Tuesday that there would be no more executions in Ohio until the courts had developed a new method to execute them.

"As long as the status quo remains, where we do not have a protocol that has been deemed OK, we certainly can not have any enforcement in Ohio," DeWine told reporters at the press conference. an Associated Press forum in Columbus. "It would not be fair, at least in my opinion."

DeWine is asked if he was personally in favor of the death penalty. Seemingly choosing his words carefully, he then declared that he was a sponsor of the Ohio Capital Punishment Act, which came into force in 1981.

"It's the law of the state of Ohio. And I'm going to give up [not comment further] At this point. We are clearly seeing some of the problems that you have all reported with regard to the application of the death penalty. But I will not go down that road today, "he said.

DeWine, a Republican, ordered the re-examination of Ohio's capital punishment protocols last month after a federal judge wrote that Ohio's enforcement method would subject a convicted condemned to "extreme suffering and unnecessary suffering". with the execution, since the inmate, Warren Henness, has not proposed an alternative "available", "feasible" and that can be "easily implemented", as required by a 2015 ruling of the US Supreme Court that confirmed the lethal injection.

DeWine postponed Henness's execution from Feb. 13 to Sept. 12 while the exam was underway. But Tuesday, he refused to set a timetable specifying the time it would take for a new method of execution to be finalized, so that it is legally challenged and then found constitutional by the parties. courts.

"I have been dealing with the justice system for a long time, and I think it's when you think you can figure out how fast something is going to happen, you're wrong," he said.

Henness was convicted of the murder of his substance abuse counselor, Richard Myers, in 1992, but he maintains his innocence. The next Ohio detainee to be executed is Cleveland R. Jackson of Lima. The scheduled execution date is May 29th. He was convicted of murdering a teenager during a drug-related robbery in 2002. Gregory Lott, convicted of the murder of a senior in 1986 A man from the East Cleveland must be executed on August 14th.

Ohio's method of execution is to inject the convicts with three drugs: midazolam (as a sedative), a paralytic drug, and potassium chloride to stop their heart. Opponents of the death penalty have challenged similar methods in other states, arguing that they are unconstitutional because they result in cruel and unusual punishment.

In his January opinion, Federal Magistrate Mertz concurred with the arguments put forward by Henness's lawyers, stating that "it is certain or very likely" that the prescribed dose of midazolam prescribed by the state "would not can not reduce consciousness to such a level that a convicted prisoner not feel the intense pain associated with paralytic drug injection or potassium chloride "nor the" intense pain and unnecessary suffering that are certain or very likely to be caused by pulmonary edema that is most likely directly caused by midazolam. "

The DeWine review marks the second time in five years that Ohio is looking for a new method of execution. The state changed the drugs that it uses for lethal injection after the execution of Dennis B. McGuire in January 2014, which took more than 25 minutes.

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