Governor rejects killer’s plea

Attorneys: ‘Agony and terror’ await Ohio murderer.
Associated Press
Jan 8, 2014


Ohio’s untried execution method, the first of its kind in the nation, will cause the condemned killer of a pregnant woman “agony and terror” as he struggles to breathe, attorneys trying to stop the execution argued in federal court.

The two-drug combination won’t sedate death row inmate Dennis McGuire properly, and he will experience a suffocation-like syndrome known as air hunger, the attorneys said in filings Monday and Tuesday.

The drugs were chosen because of a shortage of other lethal injection drugs.

Lawyers had also asked Gov. John Kasich to spare McGuire on the grounds that a jury never got to hear the full details of his chaotic and abusive childhood and abuse. Kasich rejected that request without comment Tuesday. The governor typically does not give a reason when he turns down clemency requests by death row inmates.

McGuire, 53, is scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of Joy Stewart in Preble County in western Ohio.

McGuire’s lawyers asked federal judge Gregory Frost to delay the execution while they challenge the proposed lethal injection system.

“McGuire will experience the agony and terror of air hunger as he struggles to breathe for five minutes after defendants intravenously inject him with the execution drugs,” the inmate’s attorneys said in a Monday court filing.

They also said McGuire exhibits several symptoms of sleep apnea, which could exacerbate the problem.

The dose planned for McGuire isn’t enough to properly sedate him, meaning he’ll experience “the horrifying sensation” of being unable to breathe, Harvard anesthesiology professor David Waisel said in a Tuesday filing in support of the inmate.

A message was left with the Ohio attorney general’s office, which was expected to oppose McGuire’s filing. Frost scheduled a Friday hearing.

Supplies of Ohio’s former execution drug, pentobarbital, dried up as its manufacturer put it off limits for executions. It’s a challenge facing other death penalty states as well.

Missouri gave up attempts to use propofol over concerns the move could create a shortage of the popular anesthetic 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.

Instead, 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.

That combination of drugs has never been used in a U.S. execution. They are included in Kentucky’s backup execution method, while Florida uses midazolam as part of its three-drug injection process.



boo hoo


It's about time. Kasich have given one stay to a fat man and delayed a baby rapist and murderer because he wants to donate his organs to his mommy and sissy. He should never have given either of those pieces of trash a break,


Yes that's right because after all, he never hurt anyone! Why would anyone harm this poor abuse little killer? Didn't he use a feather to kill that girl? Or was it that they were just having a nice conversation over tea and cookies and she choked to death and since no one was there to witness it he was accused of it and no everyone wants him to suffer pain and misery when he's so misunderstood!!! We should be ashamed!!! (Insert VERY LARGE doseof sarcasm here!!!!)


Amen candle burner the fat man got fat in prison on our dime and his complaint was that they would not be able to find his veins very easy and it would be cruel and unusual punishment. He shot a mother of two little boys in the head, no sympathy here for that fat @$$hole. The other one was from Mansfield Ohio and he raped and murdered his girlfriend's 3year old daughter and now he wants to save his loved ones by donating his organs. I can think of on organ we could sever for him.

Sal Dali

Maybe they could offer him an alternative--same method he killed his victim.

JMOP's picture

I agree @Sal Dali

I'll never understand how one could purposely take a life, and yet be so afraid to die themselves.

Gallows or a firing squad would make for an instant death if the concern is suffering by lethal injection.


maybe they have a glimpse of what awaits them on the other side...


.223 round to the head. Death is instant and painless. Organs for donation are unaffected. Ammunition is readily available in this country. No more issues for lawyers to argue, therefore no more wasted tax dollars.


boo freakin hoo...I hope he suffers...I am sure his victim(s) did. Five whole minutes of fighting for air. I am sure that pregnant woman suffered for more then that while trying to fight off an attack...


So the argument by the defense is that the dose is insufficient to properly sedate the condemned? Okay, fair enough. Increase the dosage. You're welcome.


Increase the dosage and mix with a healthy shot of draino...

Pterocarya frax...

Well isn't that a good Christian attitude...not to mention a violation of the 8th Amendment to your beloved constitution.


In the 1920's usually only 7 months went by between receiving the death penalty and being executed, not almost 25 years.

dorothy gale

So the big bad killer is afraid to die? SO WHAT?! Why do these scumbags even get the opportunity to whine about their sentence? Make the punishments fit the crimes! There are many psychopaths in this country - cops and military personnel come immediately to mind - who would get off on dishing out suitable punishment to these monsters! It would save money and they'd be doing a service to society.