DeWine grants 3rd execution delay for death row inmate who killed cellmate in Warren County

James Galen Hanna OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION & CORRECTION
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James Galen Hanna OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION & CORRECTION

New execution dates also were scheduled for 3 others on Ohio Death Row.

The execution of a death row inmate originally sentenced to die nearly 25 years ago in Warren County has been delayed again.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday issued a third reprieve for 72-year-old James Galen Hanna, who was scheduled to be executed May 18, 2022. His new execution date is May 14, 2025.

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Hanna was sentenced to die in 1998 following his murder conviction in the death of 43-year-old Peter Copas, his cellmate at the Lebanon Correctional Institution.

Copas died nearly three weeks after Hanna drove a sharpened paintbrush through his eye and bludgeoned him with a sock containing a padlock in 1997 at the prison.

Hanna, who was serving a life sentence for the 1977 stabbing death of a Toledo convenience store clerk, bragged of killing Copas in a letter to another inmate, prosecutors said.

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DeWine also issued reprieves for Hanna in November 2019 and in April 2020.

In addition to Hanna, DeWine issued reprieves on Friday to three other death row inmates:

  • Stanley T. Adams, who was scheduled to be executed Feb. 16, 2022. The new execution date is Feb. 19, 2025.
  • John E. Drummond, who was scheduled to be executed April 21, 2022. The new execution date is April 16, 2025.
  • Warren K. Henness, who was scheduled to be executed Jan. 12, 2022. The new execution date is Dec. 17, 2024.

“Governor DeWine is issuing these reprieves due to ongoing problems involving the willingness of pharmaceutical suppliers to provide drugs to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, pursuant to DRC protocol, without endangering other Ohioans,” according to a statement released Friday from the governor’s office.