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Stewart Holds Press Conference to Introduce Legislation Providing Alternate Means for Capital Punishment


COLUMBUS –State Representatives Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) and Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) today held a press conference regarding recently introduced legislation to authorize the State of Ohio to use nitrogen hypoxia in addition to lethal injection whenever the latter is not available to carry out a capital sentence.

This legislation is the result of executions in Ohio having been delayed since 2018 due to a stated lack of access to certain drugs used for lethal injections.

“Nitrogen hypoxia is an alternative method for carrying out capital punishments that has been made available by legislatures in other states,” said Stewart. “In federal court pleadings, even defense counsels have conceded that an offender executed by nitrogen hypoxia would ‘be quickly, painlessly, and humanely rendered unconscious, followed rapidly by death.’”

The proposed legislation will also restore the confidentiality protections that the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) previously gave manufacturers and suppliers of drugs used in lethal injections, extend those protections to nitrogen hypoxia, and make clear that violating these confidentiality protections is a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

“So long as capital punishment remains the law in Ohio, the law should be followed, and duly enacted sentences should be carried out to give victims’ families the justice and finality they deserve,” added Stewart. “Providing an additional method for carrying out capital punishments is necessary to ensure Ohio can continue to impose these sentences in response to the most heinous crimes committed in our state.”

Stewart and Plummer were joined by Attorney General Dave Yost and Lou Tobin, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, who support the legislation.

“There must be accountability for offenders convicted of the most heinous crimes and prisoners who continue to flout the law behind bars,” Yost said. “The pursuit of justice is a journey, and closure remains elusive for victims’ families until a sentence is fully executed. Ensuring that the consequences align with the severity of an offense is essential to providing solace to grieving relatives.”

“Capital punishment has been recognized by the state of Ohio since 1803. It is now time for the authorization of other methods for carrying out capital punishment in addition to lethal injections,” Plummer stated. “By using nitrogen hypoxia, we are giving the system an additional resource for holding accountable those who have committed heinous crimes. Claims of a lack of access to lethal injections by Ohio’s executive branch will no longer be the case. It is time that we stop postponing executions and give the families of victims the closure that they deserve.”

The legislation awaits a bill number and committee assignment.