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Gov. DeWine delays 3 executions

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Mar 7, 2019 at 5:30 PM

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine today issued a reprieve of execution for the following Ohio inmates:

• Cleveland Jackson, who was scheduled to be executed on May 29. The new date of execution has been moved to Nov. 13.

• Kareem Jackson, who was scheduled to be executed July 10. The new date of execution has been moved to Jan. 16, 2020.

• Gregory Lott, who was scheduled to be executed on Aug. 14. The new date of execution has been moved to March 12, 2020.

On Jan. 26, DeWine issued a reprieve of execution to Warren Henness following the decision and order issued Jan. 14 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz, which although being appealed, said in part:

“…executing him by Ohio’s current three-drug protocol will certainly or very likely cause him severe pain and needless suffering because of the dose of midazolam intended to be used will not render him sufficiently unconscious as to prevent him from suffering the severe pain caused by injection of the paralytic drug or potassium chloride or the severe pain and needless suffering caused by pulmonary edema from the midazolam itself…

“… this is not a result with which the Court is comfortable. In 2017, the Court heard extensive evidence that midazolam was not achieving the intended result of blocking the severe pain caused by the second and third drugs…

“…we have good evidence that midazolam will cause the ‘waterboarding’ effects of pulmonary edema. If Ohio executes Warren Henness under its present protocol, it will almost certainly subject him to severe pain and needless suffering. Reading the plain language of the Eighth Amendment, that should be enough to constitute cruel and unusual punishment.”

Also on Jan. 26, DeWine directed the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) to assess Ohio’s current options for execution drugs and examine possible alternative drugs.

DeWine said he is issuing today’s reprieves because it is highly unlikely that the state’s new execution protocol, which is still in the process of being developed by DRC, would have time to be litigated by scheduled execution dates.

DeWine also said he is mindful of the emotional trauma experienced by victims’ families, prosecutors, law enforcement, and DRC employees when an execution is prepared for and then rescheduled.

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