On Monday, October 19, the state of Ohio deferred its execution schedule until January 2017 due to problems acquiring the appropriate drugs for lethal injection. A dozen inmates have had their dates of execution accordingly postponed.

This delay follows a previous decision from January 2015 to suspend the executions of seven inmates “while searching for an adequate supply of drugs that complies with [Ohio’s] new execution protocol.” No longer administering a combination of midazolam and hydromorphone, Ohio exclusively uses Thiopental sodium and pentobarbital.


The former combination was last used on Dennis McGuire who, CNN reports, “convulsed and gasped about 10 minutes before he died.”

In order to prevent future, similarly horrific deaths, Ohio seeks more effective drugs. From their Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to CNN:

“DRC continues to seek all legal means to obtain the drugs necessary to carry out court ordered executions, but over the past few years it has become exceedingly difficult to secure those drugs because of severe supply and distribution restrictions...The new dates are designed to provide DRC additional time necessary to secure the required execution drugs.”

Would that, by January 2017, it were illegal to put a person to death in any way whatsoever.

Contact the author at rachel.vorona.cote@jezebel.com.

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