Ohio is putting off executions until at least 2017 as the state struggles to obtain supplies of lethal injection drugs, delaying capital punishment for a full two years, the Associated Press reports. Execution dates for 11 inmates scheduled to die next year and one scheduled in early 2017 were pushed into ensuring years through warrants of reprieve issued by Gov. John Kasich. The result is 25 inmates with execution dates beginning in January 2017 and now scheduled through August 2019. Ohio last put someone to death in January 2014.
Ohio has run out of supplies of its previous drugs and has unsuccessfully sought new amounts, including so-far failed attempts to import chemicals from overseas. The new dates are needed to give the prisons agency extra time, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said yesterday. The agency “continues to seek all legal means to obtain the drugs necessary to carry out court ordered executions, but over the past few years it has become exceedingly difficult to secure those drugs because of severe supply and distribution restrictions,” it said. Last week, the attorney general’s office in Oklahoma announced no executions will be scheduled until at least next year as it investigates why the state used the wrong drug during a lethal injection in January and nearly did so again last month.