Dec. 19 — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has delayed the executions of three death row inmates as the state struggles to obtain the drugs needed as part of its lethal injection protocol.
He issued reprieves for Elwood Jones, Gregory Lott and Archie Dixon on Friday. The delays now mean Ohio doesn’t have a scheduled execution until Aug. 11 — that of Timothy Hoffner.
Jones’ April 21 execution date has been pushed back to Dec. 6, 2023; Lott’s May 27 date has been pushed to Feb. 15, 2024; and Dixon’s June 23 date has been moved to April 17, 2024.
DeWine has delayed executions several times since he assumed office in January 2019. The state’s last execution was held in 2018.
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.
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.
Jones was sentenced to death in 1997 for the 1994 slaying of Rhoda Nathan. Prosecutors said he beat her to death in a hotel where he worked. He has maintained his innocence.
Lott was sentenced to death for the 1986 death of John McGrath, whom prosecutors said Lott set on fire after breaking into his home. The Ohio parole board has recommended that DeWine commute Lott’s sentence to life in prison after McGrath’s family said they oppose the death penalty.
Dixon was sentenced to death for killing his roommate, Christopher Hammer, in 1993.