Ohio governor delays more executions amidst drug shortage
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday delayed three death row inmates’ 2021 executions as the state’s unofficial death penalty moratorium continues. The announcement came as Ohio struggles to find an adequate supply of drugs for lethal injection.
The Republican governor’s warrants of reprieve were issued for condemned prisoners Melvin Bonnell, Cleveland Jackson and James O’Neal.
The reprieves moved Bonnell’s execution from March 18, 2021 to Oct. 18, 2023, Jackson’s from Jan. 13, 2021 to June 15, 2023 and O’Neal’s from Feb. 18, 2021 to Aug. 16, 2023.
Bonnell was sentenced to die for killing Robert Bunner in Bunner’s Cleveland apartment in 1987. Jackson was sentenced to die for fatally shooting 17-year-old Leneshia Williams in Lima in 2002 in a drug-related robbery at a crowded home. O’Neal was convicted of killing his wife, Carol.
All three inmates have also had previous execution dates rescheduled.
DeWine has repeatedly said the state is at a standstill because it’s unable to obtain drugs for lethal injection. He’s also expressed concern that drug companies — which oppose use of their drugs in executions — could pull pharmaceuticals from state hospitals to punish Ohio if it did find a lethal drug supply.