The decision by Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday to postpone all seven scheduled 2015 executions in the state is part of growing evidence suggesting that courts – and American society – are coming to a fresh showdown over the humanity of how states administer the ultimate sanction.
Governor Kasich’s decision comes as Ohio and other death penalty states struggle to finesse a lethal drug cocktail that would consistently end an inmate’s life humanely. The postponement was announced three weeks after the state said it would no longer use a controversial drug, midazolam, which was employed in a series of executions that went awry last year.
What’s more, the decision to delay comes one week after the US Supreme Court agreed to weigh whether a lethal injection cocktail using midazolam violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. And it comes almost exactly a year after Ohio executed Dennis McGuire, who appeared to struggle during a 26-minute execution that was expected to take no more than 10 minutes.
Our 4th of July Super Sale is now live! Get double Patriot Points and free shipping on the hottest items!