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Death penalty: Ohio lawmaker says to use seized fentanyl in executions

Death penalty: Ohio lawmaker says to use seized fentanyl in executions

An Ohio lawmaker has an innovative solution to the state’s problem with securing execution drugs: use fentanyl seized by police instead. Republican state Rep. Scott Wiggam is working on legislation to allow Ohio prison officials to obtain fentanyl from drug busts. That option is far more humane than the electric chair or firing squad – options that states are considering as pharmaceutical companies cut off access to execution drugs. “This is a much less violent way than the electric chair and the latest lethal injection (Dennis McGuire’s 2014 death) that took 26 minutes,” Wiggam told The Enquirer. “This is a much more humane way.”

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid involved in 3,431 overdose deaths in 2017, according to Ohio Department of Health records . Ohio Highway Patrol seized more than 108 pounds of fentanyl in 2018, according to state records. Wiggam sent out an email requesting support for the proposal from fellow lawmakers, the Columbus Dispatch first reported . Gov. Mike DeWine has stalled the state’s executions while Ohio’s prison system seeks an alternative way to execute death row inmates. A federal magistrate compared the effects of one of the drugs used, midazolam, to waterboarding.

Abraham Bonowitz, of the national...

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