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Ohio executes killer: New drug mixture used and criticized

Ohio executes a killer using a new method of execution. An execution took place in Cleveland, Ohio as Dennis McGuire, 53, was executed for having raped and murdered a pregnant woman – Joy Stewart - in 1989, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Thursday. The execution of the killer was completed at 10:53 a.m. at a state prison after the murderer was given a two-drug method of execution - which was used for the first time in the United States.

Dennis McGuire

The two-drug combination was a sedative named midazolam and a pain killer named hydromeorphone. It is a mixture of drugs that Ohio added as a replacement option if the state had difficulty getting pentobarbital. The firm manufacturing the drug pentobarbital objected to the drug being used in executions.

McGuire’s team of lawyers submitted an appeal which was rejected on Monday by a federal judge. The appeal asserted that since the drug combination had never been used before, it could put McGuire at-risk of severe pain and be subjected to a terrifying inability to get his breath before losing consciousness during the procedure.

Reportedly, McGuire's death involved some 15 minutes of pain before he died, and critics voiced concern about the method of his execution.

Prior to the execution, McGuire was convicted of the rape, kidnapping, and murder of Stewart.

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