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Ohio executes inmate: 25 minute execution terrorizing ordeal for inmate

Ohio death row Imate gasps for air and snorts during 25 minute execution deemed cruel and unusual punishment.
Ohio death row Imate gasps for air and snorts during 25 minute execution deemed cruel and unusual punishment.
Wikimedia Commons

Ohio executes a killer, but this first-time and controversial method of drugs, which is not used in the U.S., took 25 minutes to render the inmate dead. During those 25 minutes Dennis McGuire suffered and his family is suing because of this, according to “Fox and Friends” on Friday, Jan. 17.

The Christian Science Monitor reports today that a cocktail of drugs was used by the State of Ohio to carry out the death sentence of this man convicted of some horrific crimes. The combination that was used was: 10 mg of midazolam, a sedative; and 40 mg of hydromorphone, an opiate derivative.

This combination was used because the State of Ohio prison officials had run out of the traditional drug used for a lethal injection execution, pentobarbital. The maker of the drug pentobarbital, which comes from Sweden, banned selling the drug to the U.S. prison systems, in protest to the death penalty.

During the 25 minutes that it took Dennis McGuire to die, he snorted and gasped, which added evidence to the struggle he endured for the 25 minutes. A reporter who witnessed the execution described the unpleasant scene and called it “one of the longest executions since Ohio resumed capital punishment back in 1999.

John Paull Rian, an attorney for the executed inmate’s family, said “It’s harder to imagine a crueler way to exact punishment.” The lawsuit will seek to ban this cocktail of drugs for executions in the future.

Just three days before the execution a Judge shot down the inmate’s lawyer’s request not to use this combination of drugs. The protest in court was that this combination would leave the inmate gasping for air. A Harvard anesthesiologist, who was hired by the defense team, told the court that this method would render the subject able to push air out, but not pull any into his lungs. He would experience “terror” for about five minutes. From all accounts, this is what happened.

While this man was found guilty of horrific crimes and he was being executed for murder, a civilized society just doesn't kill people while making them suffer. Some would say that a civilized society shouldn't kill at all. The execution of Kim Jung Un's uncle in North Korea was carried out by feeding the naked man to a pack of starving dogs. The dogs reportedly ate him alive.

While there was no blood or gore in this execution, the terror that this person felt was every bit the same as the terror that man in North Korea felt, both knowing they were losing their lives. This is just not what the people in the U.S. are about today. Human suffering is something people fight to stop.

What McGuire did to the young pregnant newlywed woman was more than cruel and unusual punishment. While the people who loved her may or may not think this man deserved to suffer, but no one could fault them if they did. With that said, this isn't a country that perpetuates suffering with an "eye for an eye" retaliation mindset. This execution was not supposed to be about suffering, but death.