(ONN) – Governor Mike DeWine has delayed three additional executions – scheduled in May, July and September – to give the state prison system time to develop a new lethal injection method.

DeWine’s order follows a scathing critique in January by federal judge Michael Merz of the first drug used in the current process, the sedative midazolam.

He said inmates could suffer severe pain because the drug doesn’t render them deeply enough unconscious.

DeWine delayed an execution in February after the judge’s ruling and ordered a new process developed.

Then DeWine said on Thursday that it was “highly unlikely” any new injection process would make it through expected lawsuits in time for the next three executions.