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Ohio delays executions again over lethal injection drugs

Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has again postponed the executions of three death row inmates amid a shortage of lethal injection drugs, his office announced Friday.

The governor pushed back the executions of Gregory Lott, John Stumpf and Warren "Keith" Henness until at least next year. It's not the first delay for any of the men.

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In fact, it's the seventh time DeWine has ordered a delay on executions in the year he's been governor. In October he rescheduled the executions of James Hanna and Kareem Jackson.

Ohio has had difficulty securing supplies of the three drugs it uses in its lethal injection protocol -- midazolam, potassium chloride, and either vecuronium bromide, pancuronium bromide or rocuronium bromide. Companies have refused to sell any drugs -- even those not used in executions -- to Ohio if they find out the state has used them in executions.

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DeWine's spokesman, Dan Tierney, said the governor will continue issuing reprieves until the state has secured a source for the drugs.

"If the situation doesn't change, you can assume accordingly," he said.

DeWine rescheduled Lott's execution from March 12 to May 27, 2021; Stumpf's execution from April 16 to Sept. 15, 2021; and Henness' execution from May 14 to Jan. 12, 2022. The next scheduled execution in the state is now that of Ronnell Broom on June 17.

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Ohio previously instituted a three-year moratorium on executions in 2014 after the family of Dennis McGuire sued over his lengthy execution during which he could be heard gasping for breath. The state used an untested two-drug lethal injection protocol to kill McGuire.

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