A longest execution took place this week, and it has caused a national debate after a convicted Ohio rapist took a full 26 minutes to die. The man in question, Dennis McGuire, was said to be left gasping for breath and in apparent pain for a considerable amount of time before falling unconscious. After the state resumed its pro stance on capital punishment over 15 years ago, official records reveal that no one has taken such a long time to die in the “death chair” since that time, Yahoo! News reports this Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.
The seemingly prolonged execution has been called by many as a blatant form of undeserved punishment, while others are even insisting for a moratorium on executions to take place in Ohio. Dennis McGuire, who was convicted over two decades ago for the rape and murder of a pregnant woman, took approximately 26 minutes to die by a lethal drug cocktail. Still others, as cited in some source comments, have taken an opposite approach, claiming that such a fate is “fitting” for one found guilty of such a heinous crime.
A major part of the controversy surrounding the man’s death this week is a never-before-used two drug cocktail being administered to him this Thursday at 10:30 in the morning. He was pronounced dead much closer to 11 a.m. than expected. According to the report, there was no concrete evidence that the applied death would not be risk-free or completely pain-free.
“Leading up to this 2014 longest execution, 53-year-old Dennis McGuire was put to death for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of a pregnant newlywed and mother-to-be, Joy Stewart. He was executed with doses of a sedative and painkiller that had never been used before to put an inmate to death in the U.S.”
The man was said to be gasping for air for several minutes after the drug cocktail had been administered and in apparent pain. Witnesses said he made loud snorting sounds, and kept opening and closing his mouth for a significant part of the 26 minutes it took him to die.”
As cited in prison records, a majority of inmates convicted to die by lethal injection took only 15 minutes or less to pass away, so a time reaching closer to a half hour is an understandable cause for the debate. Furthermore, nearly all instances in the past with the formerly used lethal injection mix did not result in the convicted individuals gasping for air.
Now, Dennis McGuire’s two children (both adults) intend to sue over the painful circumstances of his death in this longest execution.
"I don't feel like anybody deserves that — families, or my dad, anybody on death row — nobody deserves to go through that," said McGuire's son, also named Dennis.
McGuire's daughter, Amber McGuire, said she literally had to cover her ears so she wouldn’t hear her father moan and struggle before his death. Added attorney Jon Paul Rion for the dead man’s children, the case is an obvious case of cruel and unusual punishment:
"The question is whether or not the state of Ohio should duplicate the actions of a criminal. And our answer is no," Rion said. "If we are going to condemn the actions of a person as being wrong because it creates pain, because it creates victims, because it creates an injustice, because it deprives people of life unjustly, then the state of Ohio should not duplicate those actions."