A bill in Ohio will shield the names of companies that provide the state with lethal injection drugs. The bill, which will protect these companies for 20 years, was passed by the Senate last week and Gov. Kasich is expected to sign it.
Bill supporters say that shielding the names of companies that provide lethal injection drugs is necessary for obtaining supplies of the drugs and protects drugmakers from harassment. Because of the difficulty in finding supplies of lethal drugs, Ohio has seen a slow down (and almost stoppage) of executions – a decade ago, Ohio had one of the country’s highest death penalty rates. Ohio executed only one inmate this year, who snorted and gasped during the 26-minute procedure using a two-drug combo that hadn’t been tried before.
State lawmakers say that without the bill, executions in Ohio won’t happen because companies need this type of protection. The bill also shields the names of participants in Ohio executions. Additionally, it calls for a committee to be formed that will study “the manner and means” of how executions are carried out and whether other methods previously ruled unconstitutional should be considered. One such method – the electric chair.
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