Ohio governor postpones death row executions

by Brock Fortman

The governor of Ohio Mike DeWine has halted the execution of three death row inmates citing that there are “ongoing problems involving the willingness of pharmaceutical suppliers to provide drugs to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction,” according to NBC4 WCMH-TV.

This move has become controversial as the last time a death row inmate was executed in Ohio was in 2018 when Robert Van Hook who was executed for strangling and stabbing a man he met in a bar in Cincinnati in 1985.

The three inmates include James O’Neal, Jerome Henderson, and Melvin Bonnell. Two have had their dates postponed before with both being set to be executed in early 2021. 

In 2021, Ohio ranked top six for the largest death-row population out of all 50 states, totaling 143 death-row inmates as of April 1, 2022, per the Death Penalty Information Center.

There are still two more executions planned for 2023 for Keith Lamar on November 16 and Elwood Hubert December 6. 

Four state senators announced in March a plan to introduce legislation to end the death penalty in Ohio. There are bipartisan calls from the Ohio Statehouse to abolish the death penalty. Ohio could be the fifth state to abolish the death penalty among the 50 states following Virginia in 2021.

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