We’re investigating the status of Ohio’s death penalty, since it’s been four years since the state’s last execution, according to Cleveland 19 News.
We found Ohio’s “unofficial” death penalty
moratorium is continuing.
Execution dates for death row inmates continue to be
pushed back and rescheduled again.
19 Investigates found there are no executions set
for this year anymore, after the governor made some postponements.
Governor Mike DeWine points to the state’s continued
struggle to get the drugs needed for lethal injection from pharmaceutical
companies as part of the problem.
It’s an issue many other states are facing.
Quisi Bryan was set to be executed next month.
He shot and killed Cleveland police officer Wayne
Leon back in 2000.
Bryan is now set to be executed in four years, in
19 Investigates found 129 Ohio inmates are on death
row, including one woman.
Nine executions are set for next year, eight are
scheduled for 2024,
10 executions are set for 2025 and five are on the
list for 2026.
That’s 42 total executions
scheduled so far.
We learned the first execution in 2023 is set for
Charles Lorraine was convicted of stabbing an
elderly couple in Warren to death in 1986.
The execution of Melvin Bonnell is also set for next
Bonnell was convicted for the 1987 murder of Robert
E. Bunner in Ohio City.
The latest execution date was just set this
Wednesday for a convicted child killer.
The Ohio Supreme Court announced Danny Lee Hill will
be put to death July 2026.
Investigators say Hill raped and murdered a
12-year-old boy in Trumbull County back in 1985.
He’s been on death row since 1986 and continues to
appeal his conviction.
We discovered the average time an inmate spends on
death row in Ohio has increased to about 20 years.
But only one of every six death penalties issued
since 1981 have been carried out.
State officials are well aware of issues with the
system, calling it “increasingly time consuming, costly and lethargic” in
the 2021 Capital Crimes Annual Report.
The Death Penalty Information Center analyzed more than 400 Ohio death sentences and found
the most likely outcome isn’t death.
Instead, the death sentence is often overturned and
the defendant is resentenced to life or exonerated.
In 2020, DeWine urged lawmakers to find a different
method for state executions.
From 1981 to 2021, 336 people received the death
penalty in Ohio.
Here is the full statement we received from Governor
Under current Ohio Law, capital punishment is still
an allowable punishment for certain crimes, and lethal injection is the only
permissible method of capital punishment. However, Governor DeWine has issued
several reprieves to individuals with upcoming execution dates due to ongoing
problems involving the willingness of pharmaceutical suppliers to provide drugs
to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), pursuant to DRC
protocol for executions, without endangering other Ohioans who rely on the
State to provide them with prescription drugs from those same suppliers.
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