News Brief:  Ohio Governor Reprieves and Reschedules Four More Executions

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (pictured) has issued reprieves further postponing four executions that had been scheduled between January and May 2022. The governor’s orders, announced September 10, 2021, rescheduled the executions for between December 2024 and May 2025.

DeWine granted reprieves to death-row prisoners Warren K. Henness, Stanley T. Adams, John E. Drummond, and James G. Hanna. A news release announcing the reprieves, said “Governor DeWine is issuing these reprieves 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, without endangering other Ohioans.”

U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers uniformly oppose the use of their medicines to execute prisoners. in 2013, to mislead drug manufacturers about the intended use of their medicines, DRC arranged for the purchase to be made by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and surreptitiously diverted the drugs to DRC to be used for lethal injection. DeWine has said the companies have informed him they would halt sales to state facilities or agencies if Ohio again misuses medicines intended for therapeutic purposes as execution drugs.

This is the fourth time DeWine has reprieved and rescheduled Henness’s execution since January 2019. Henness was previously scheduled to be executed on February 13, 2019, September 12, 2019, May 14, 2020, and January 12, 2022. DeWine rescheduled his execution for December 17, 2024. The three other men all previously received execution reprieves from former Governor John Kasich in September 2017. DeWine rescheduled Adams’ execution date from February 16, 2022 to February 19, 2025; Drummond’s execution was moved from April 21, 2022 to April 16, 2025; and Hanna’s execution was rescheduled from May 18, 2022 to May 14, 2025.

Sources

News Release, Governor DeWine Issues Reprieves, Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, September 102021