Judge won't stop Ohio execution by untried drugs

2014-01-13 21:55


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Columbus - A US judge has refused to stop the execution of an Ohio man by a never-tried execution method that the man's attorneys allege will cause him agony and terror.

Monday's ruling moves condemned killer Dennis McGuire one step closer to execution on Thursday. The state's two-drug method developed after supplies of Ohio's former execution drug, pentobarbital, ran out as its manufacturer put it off limits for executions.

McGuire's attorneys argue the drugs won't properly sedate McGuire and he'll suffer a syndrome known as air hunger as he struggles to breathe. The state disputes such a scenario. The judge said McGuire had failed to present evidence that he would suffer the breathing problems.

The US Constitution bars cruel and unusual punishment, but that doesn't mean execution procedures must be entirely comfortable, Thomas Madden, an assistant Ohio attorney general, told the judge on Friday.

"You're not entitled to a pain-free execution," Madden said.

The combination of drugs Ohio intends to use has never been used in a US execution.

"The law teaches that Ohio is free to innovate and to evolve its procedures for administering capital punishment," the judge said.

McGuire, 53, has also asked the US Supreme Court to stop the execution, arguing a jury never got to hear the full extent of his chaotic and abusive childhood.

Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Parole Board have both rejected McGuire's plea for clemency.

McGuire was convicted for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of Joy Stewart.

A message was left with his attorneys seeking comment.

Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction plans to use a dose of midazolam, a sedative, combined with hydromorphone, a painkiller, to put McGuire to death.

In the past, other death row inmates have challenged Ohio's lethal drugs on the grounds that they might suffer a severe allergic reaction or were too obese to be put to death humanely.

Other death penalty states are being challenged by drug supply shortages.

Missouri gave up attempts to use propofol over concerns the move could create a shortage of the popular anaesthetic if the European Union, which opposes the death penalty, restricted its export.

In Georgia, the state's attempt to use a non-federally regulated dose of pentobarbital is the subject of a lawsuit.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    us

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks: The Beast is back!
Watching Boks win was special
Du Preez: Pollard's drop-goal was vital
SA-born Kruger starts against Boks
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to day...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.