Killer Struggles, Gasps Repeatedly Under New 2-Drug Combination
Editor’s note: Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson witnessed today’s execution.
LUCASVILLE, Ohio - Dennis McGuire struggled, repeatedly gasping loudly for air and making snorting and choking sounds, before succumbing to a new two-drug execution method today.
The 24-minute execution process was a “failed, agonizing experiment by the state of Ohio,” said one of the killer’s attorneys, Allen Bohnert, a federal public defender.
My purpose isn’t to debate the death penalty, FWIW, I’m against it as a matter of principle, there have been far too many people exonerated long after convictions for me to feel comfortable with it. I do think that it should remain an option for the most heinous of crimes, where there is no doubt at all as the the guilt and culpability of the individual. I also feel that it should be available for treason, and for desertion in the face of the enemy.
This is just horribly wrong however on so many levels. Warning, this is a graphic description of his death.
After being injected at 10:29 a.m., about four minutes later McGuire started struggling and gasping loudly for air, making snorting and choking sounds which lasted for at least 10 minutes. His chest heaved and his left fist clinched as deep, snorting sounds emanated from his mouth. However, for the last several minutes before he was pronounced dead, he was still.
The situation arose because the makers of pentobarbital, which had been used before, no longer will sell it for the purpose of executions.
McGuire, 53, died from an injection of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a morphine derivative. The combination, never before used in a U.S. execution, was chosen by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction because pentobarbital, the single drug previously used, is no longer available.
I’m not going to even go look at what is being posted in wingnut land about it, I’m sure that it’s the traditional piling on of more and more gruesome ways he should have been executed. It’s their way of dick measurement, I suspect.