DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Until the state can come up with a new lethal injection protocol, Gov. Mike DeWine has halted all executions in Ohio.
Dr. Dennis Sullivan, Director of the Center for Bioethics at Cedarville University, joined 2 NEWS Wednesday to discuss the impact of this decision.
He pointed to Ohio’s past capital punishment method: the electric chair, which Ohio stopped using in the 1960s.
“States have been scrambling to find a more gentle method that doesn’t violate the eighth amendment against cruel and unusual punishment. They settled on a combination of drugs given by injection. Ohio has used their protocol since about 1999 but there have been nothing but problems,” Dr. Sullivan says.
In 2014, convicted killer Dennis McGuire took 25 minutes to die during his execution via lethal injection and as a result, executions in Ohio were ceased for a time.
The new protocol that is being currently used was developed in 2017 but it is hard to know for sure if the inmates are completely unconscious as the drugs are being administered.
When asked why such care is being taken to ease the suffering of criminals who, in some cases, have inflicted unknown torture on other people, Dr. Sullivan says the state is more-so taking care to adhere to the Bill of Rights.
“It must be done without adding ‘undue’ suffering,” he says. “It’s the idea that capital punishment is punishment enough.”