Lethal injection is no longer an option for Ohio executions, and lawmakers must choose a different method of capital punishment before any inmates can be put to death in the future, Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. It’s “pretty clear” there won’t be any executions next year, DeWine said, adding he doesn’t see support in the legislature for making a switch in execution method a priority. Ohio has an “unofficial moratorium” on capital punishment, he said. “Lethal injection appears to us to be impossible from a practical point of view today.” DeWine still supports capital punishment, but he has come to question its value since the days he helped write the state’s current law in 1981 because of the long delays between crime and punishment.
DeWine said he was “much more skeptical about whether it meets the criteria that was certainly in my mind when I voted for the death penalty and that was that it in fact did deter crime, which to me is the moral justification.” Former Republican House Speaker Larry Householder, now under federal indictment for his alleged role in a $60 million bribery scheme, questioned last year whether the state should continue capital punishment because of the cost and Ohio’s inability to find lethal drugs. The state’s last execution was July 18, 2018, when murderer Robert Van Hook was put to death.