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Holcomb, Rokita push for Indiana’s first execution since 2009

While the death penalty is legal in Indiana, the state has gone without the drug necessary to carry out lethal injections.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a request Wednesday to restart executions in the state for the first time in 14 years.

“After years of effort, the Indiana Department of Correction has acquired a drug — pentobarbital – which can be used to carry out executions. Accordingly, I am fulfilling my duties as governor to follow the law and move forward appropriately in this matter,” Gov. Holcomb said.

In the court filing, Holcomb and Rokita asked the court to set an execution date be for an Allen County man convicted in a quadruple murder.

According to the filing, Joseph Corcoran was was convicted by a jury in 1999 for shooting and killing his brother James Corcoran, his sister’s fiancé Robert Scott Turner, and two of their friends: Timothy Bricker and Douglas Stillwell.

Corcoran lost his last appeal in the case in 2016 and has stayed on death row.

There are 10 inmates currently on death row in Indiana, according to a database from the Death Penalty Information Center.

Indiana is one of 21 states where the death penalty is legal, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The last inmate to be executed in Indiana was Matthew Wrinkles on Dec. 11, 2009.

In the U.S., seven people have been executed in 2024 so far. Last year, there were 24 total executions.

“In Indiana, state law authorizes the death penalty as a means of providing justice for victims of society’s most heinous crimes and holding perpetrators accountable,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Further, it serves as an effective deterrent for certain potential offenders who might otherwise commit similar extreme crimes of violence. Now that the Indiana Department of Correction is prepared to carry out the lawfully imposed sentence, it’s incumbent on our justice system to immediately enable executions in our prisons to resume.”