(LUCASVILLE, Ohio) — The state of Ohio used a new combination of lethal drugs to execute a convicted murderer-rapist on Thursday.
According to the press pool of journalists who watched the execution, it took Dennis McGuire more than 15 minutes to die with some reporting that he appeared to be in pain.
McGuire was found guilty in 1994 of the rape and murder of Joy Stewart, who was eight months pregnant when she was killed.
Normally, three drugs are administered during an execution but due to a shortage of some of the chemicals used, Ohio gave McGuire a lethal dose of the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone in the first-of-its-kind experiment.
When the two-drug combo was challenged in federal court beforehand, Ohio’s assistant attorney general, Thomas Madden, defended the method, telling a judge, “You’re not entitled to a pain-free execution.”
A Dayton Daily News reporter, who witnessed the execution, wrote, “At 10:29 a.m., his eyes rolled back as if he were going to sleep, and at 10:35 a.m., McGuire, who appeared to be unconscious, was convulsing, gagging and struggling to breathe.”
McGuire was pronounced dead at 10:53 a.m. local time.
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