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Some Suggest Nitrogen For Ohio Executions Amid Lethal Injection Drug Shortage

John Murphy, Executive Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association (Photo: State of Ohio, Ohio Public TV)

It’s been almost three years since Ohio’s last execution due to a shortage of lethal injection drugs. Some are now suggesting nitrogen can be used as a substitute.  Statehouse reporter Jo Ingles has more. 

The leader of the Ohio Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, John Murphy suggests Ohio consider lethal amounts of nitrogen gas as a method of execution.

“It’s a gas that essentially puts you to sleep." 

Abe Bonowitz with Ohioans to Stop Executions says the state needs abolish the death penalty or at least implement the 58 recommendations of a 2014 Ohio Supreme Court task force that addresses fairness in the system.

Changing the state’s execution method would require approval from lawmakers and the state legislature won’t be back in full force until after the November election.

In a written statement, Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman, JoEllen Smith, says the agency continues to seek all legal means to obtain the drugs necessary to carry out court ordered executions.