What’s worse than being executed by the state (besides being the victim of a ruthless killer)? Being executed by the state using an untested combination of drugs.
On the morning of his execution, convicted murderer Dennis McGuire received a lethal injection using an untested combination of two drugs. Needless to say, it did not go well.
The Ohio inmate, convicted of the rape and fatal stabbing of a pregnant newlywed in 1989, appeared to gasp and convulse for roughly 10 minutes before he died, “making snorting and choking sounds…with his chest heaving and his fist clenched.” Nearly 25 minutes passed between the time the lethal drugs were injected and the time McGuire was pronounced dead.
The execution was a controversial one because Ohio, like many other pro-death penalty states, has been forced to find drug alternatives after European-based manufacturers banned U.S. prisons from using their drugs in executions – specifically the Danish-based Lundbeck, which manufactures pentobarbital, the go-to lethal injection drug. Damn those Danish restrictions! But I guess now they can cross Ohio’s recent concoction of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone off their list of possible replacements…
Although McGuire’s attorney’s failed to stop the execution on the basis of cruel and unusal punishment, on Friday, Dennis McGuire’s daughter, Amber, announced plans to file a lawsuit over her father’s death – one day after the “agony and terror” of watching him die.
“It was the most awful moment in my life to witness my dad’s execution,” she said in a statement ahead of the news conference. “I can’t think of any other way to describe it than torture.”
I wonder if the rape and stabbing lasted longer than 25 minutes?