After more than 30 years on death row in an Ohio prison, Keith LaMar’s execution, scheduled for November 16, has been postponed until January 2027 for lack of lethal injections, state authorities announced yesterday.
“The new date for execution has been moved to January 13, 2027,” says a statement from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who bases his decision on “the problems of the willingness of pharmaceutical providers to provide drugs to the Department of Ohio Rehabilitation and Correction”.
Last April, DeWine had already postponed until 2026, for the same reasons, the executions scheduled for August, September and October of this year. No executions have been carried out in the state since 2018.
A growing number of pharmaceutical companies refuse to manufacture the lethal injection given to death row inmates.
LaMar, 54, was sentenced to death for the murder of five of the 9 companions and a guard who died in a riot in April 1993 in the jail where he was already serving a sentence, in a trial, which according to him, it was peppered with irregularities such as the destruction of evidence and the concealment of exculpatory information.
The African-American, who has always denied his guilt in the deaths of any of the inmates, has spent most of his three decades awaiting execution in solitary confinement at a maximum security prison in the state of Ohio.
“Three years can go by in the blink of an eye, so let’s redouble our efforts, energy to finally resolve this madness once and for all,” LaMar said in a message sent to AFP, thanking those who they have supported him that they have instilled in him “the faith and belief that the best things are still possible.”
In jail since he was 19 years old for the 1980s murder of an old friend over a drug dispute, LaMar says that after the riot, prison authorities asked him to rat out those responsible, in exchange for a reduction in prison terms. sentence, which he refused.
LaMar, who wrote a book telling his story and claiming his innocence, has fought for his case to be reopened and given a fair trial.
“When you are poor, black in a racist country, we are condemned poor,” he said in an interview last year from death row.