Attorneys: 'Agony and terror' Await Ohio Killer 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.
"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.
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.
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.
A message was left with the Ohio attorney general's office, which was expected to oppose McGuire's filing.
Gov. John Kasich has yet to rule on McGuire's separate request for mercy.
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.
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.
Post by thinkinkmesa on Jan 15, 2014 22:24:23 GMT -5
Ohio killer tried to delay execution with organ donation offer
A convicted killer scheduled to be executed Thursday with an untested drug cocktail tried to delay his date with death by offering to become an organ donor after another condemned prisoner won a temporary reprieve with the same request. But Ohio Gov. John Kasich turned down two requests from Dennis McGuire because the inmate could not identify a family member that would benefit from his organs, according to documents originally obtained by the Associated Press.
Post by thinkinkmesa on Jan 19, 2014 11:48:51 GMT -5
Family, experts: Ohio execution snafu points to flaws in lethal injection
But what happened Thursday was no experiment, a word that has a specific meaning among scientists, said Dr. Joel Zivot, assistant professor of anesthesiology and surgery at Emory University School of Medicine, who pointed out that he was not speaking for his employer. "There is no monitoring Institutional Review Board, no ethical oversight, no gathering of data," he said in a telephone interview. "This is just the state -- with the decision that it's going to execute someone -- taking compounds and giving them to people and then seeing what happens. And then that's all." He said he was puzzled over how the court -- "with a shrug of its shoulder" -- could allow the possibility of cruelty taking place.