Ohio has postponed all executions until 2017 because it cannot obtain the drugs it chose after a 2014 lethal injection using different chemicals had the inmate appearing to gasp for air, NBC News reported.
The move comes a few months after the Food and Drug Administration warned the state it could not try to import a powerful sedative from overseas.
Ohio is just the latest state to face execution delays because of drug shortages that began when manufacturers were pressured to stop selling their products to prisons for the purpose of putting inmates to death.
In January 2014, the state used an experimental concoction — a mixture of midazolam and hydromorphone — to kill Dennis McGuire.
McGuire, who was convicted of raping and stabbing to death a pregnant woman, took 25 minutes to die and appeared to be gasping for breath at points, witnesses reported.