Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) told reporters Tuesday that he’s “become less and less supportive” of the death penalty.
“I’m probably like most Ohioans. There was a time that I was extremely supportive of the death penalty. But as time’s gone on, I’ve become less and less supportive,” said Householder, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Householder cited the high cost of the practice as well as the state’s difficulty in finding effective drugs to carry it out as reasons for his changing position.
“It’s just becoming more and more difficult to do and it’s more and more expansive,” Householder added.
As The Ohio Star previously reported, Gov. Mike DeWine announced in late January that he’s delayed all executions in the state over concerns that the current practice violates the Eight Amendment.
“In 2017, the Court heard extensive evidence that midazolam was not achieving the intended result of blocking the severe pain caused by the second and third drugs,” DeWine said in a statement. “We have good evidence that midazolam will cause the ‘waterboarding’ effect of pulmonary edema. If Ohio executes Warren Henness under its present protocol, it will almost certainly subject him to severe pain and needless suffering. Reading the plain language of the Eighth Amendment, that should be enough to constitute cruel and unusual punishment.”
DeWine’s announcement came after the legal team for Henness, a death row inmate who maintains his innocence, argued for alternatives to the accepted form of lethal injection. They argued that the three-drug cocktail used by Ohio could cause a horrifically painful death.
Some Republicans have suggested using fentanyl seized by police for state executions, but Householder isn’t on board with the idea.
“I felt that I might have some issues with that constitutionality,” he said. “I don’t know that you can take a drug that’s been seized in an illegal seizure and use that.”
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