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Ohio Probably Won't Have Any Executions This Year, DeWine Says

Ohio Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine reviews his prepared comments ahead of a primary election night event, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio.
Bryan Woolston
Associated Press

For the first time in three years, Ohio likely won’t see an execution in 2019.

Gov. Mike DeWine already delayed an execution set for next month, after delaying five executions earlier this year. Now he says an execution planned for December probably won’t go forward either.

James Galen Hanna is set to die for a Toledo murder in 1978 on December 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 the governor is careful not to say it’s time to abolish the death penalty.

“These are discussions that the legislature is going to have to have,” DeWine said.

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.

Another idea have been proposed – although with no further discussion – includes using nitrogen in executions.

There are 24 inmates on the execution schedule through 2024.