The (imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution
Ohio justly executed rapist/torturer/murderer Dennis McGuire.
Unconscious, McGuire snored and the media went apoplectic.
The Horror is that the media will have 10,000 more articles about the imagined
suffering of this executed rapist/torturer/murderer than they did about the real
suffering of his victims, Joy Stewart, her husband Kenny, unborn child Carl and
their families and friends.
There is no indication that McGuire was in pain, at any time, or that he was
conscious after the first 1-3 minutes of the 25 minute execution process, as
pharmacological realities would dictate (see below).
There is every indication that Joy Stewart was conscious throughout the eternal
horror of her savage rape and murder. McGuire forced Joy from her car, choked
her, attempted to rape her vaginally, raped her anally, slashed her throat so
deeply it severed both her carotid artery and jugular vein, all the while Joy
realizing the horror of her own death, as well as that of her unborn child.
The babys name would have been Carl, his mothers grave marker shows.
Joy's husband, Kenny, committed suicide within a year after their murders.
McGuire had more time on death row than Joy had in life.
"State prison records released Monday say McGuire told guards that (McGuire's
counsel, Robert) Lowe counseled him to make a show of his death that would,
perhaps, lead to abolition of the death penalty. But three accounts from prison
officials indicate McGuire refused to put on a display." (1)
"Amy Borror, a spokeswoman for the public defender's office, said all accounts
from execution eyewitnesses - which did not include Lowe - indicate McGuire was
unconscious at the time he struggled to breathe." (1)
"Medical experts would not comment on Mr. McGuires execution or speculate about
what he experienced. They agreed that used for surgery, the two drugs would not
cause pain. (2).
By virtue of what they do, they cause unconsciousness, and they inhibit pain,
said Dr. Howard Nearman, professor of anesthesiology at Case Western Reserve
As there was no surgery, both drugs were given at overdose levels and both drugs
would enhance the effects of the other, of course there was no pain.
Do folks wheeze, snore, move or cough etc. while sleeping? Do those with opiate
overdoses wheeze, snore, move, cough, have spasms, etc.? Of course, which is all
that happened with McGuire, as some predicted.
The Associate Press witness:
"McGuire was still for almost five minutes, then emitted a loud snort, as if
snoring, and continued to make that sound over the next several minutes. He also
soundlessly opened and shut his mouth several times as his stomach rose and
fell." "A coughing sound was Dennis McGuires last apparent movement, at 10:43
a.m. He was pronounced dead 10 minutes later." (3)
No evidence of consciousness or pain.
Sadly, we have ignorant, anti death penalty folks, who just can't wait to get
their word out, such as McGuire's spiritual advisor, Father Lawrence Hummer,
stating, "There is no question in my mind that Dennis McGuire suffered greatly
over many minutes. . . . this experimental two-drug concoction had taken 26
minutes. I consider that inhumane." (4)
McGuire's children have threatened to sue the state over their father's just
execution. So foul. They have learned so very little.
Their only comments should have been:
"We are truly sorry for the horror and suffering that our father has caused to
Joy, her husband, Kenny, their unborn son, Carl and to their family and friends.
Our thoughts and prayers will be with them, always."
Maybe Father Hummer's only words should been along those lines, as well.
Possibly, someone in the media, and others, will look up the overdose properties
of the drugs involved (below) and tell us how McGuire could, possibly, have been
conscious. He couldn't have been.
The properties of the drugs and their overdosing effects are very well known -
by no means an experiment.
1) "OHIO GUARDS: INMATE WAS URGED TO FAKE SUFFOCATION", JULIE CARR SMYTH,
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Jan 27, 2014, 9:48 PM EST,
2) Family Sues in Protracted Ohio Execution, ASSOCIATED PRESS, New York Times,
JAN. 25, 2014
3) OHIO KILLER EXECUTED WITH NEW LETHAL DRUG COMBO, ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP
Legal Affairs Writer, The Daily Record, January 16, 2014 2:57PM
4) "I witnessed Ohio's execution of Dennis McGuire. What I saw was inhumane",
Lawrence Hummer, The Guardian, theguardian.com, 22 January 2014 13.51 EST
FACT CHECKING: Midazolam, a sedative, & Hydromorphone, an opiate/painkiller
The Ohio lethal injection protocol is 10mg of midazolam & 40mg of hydromorphone,
mixed together then injected.
The injection took 20 seconds.
The toxicity of benzodiazepines (including midazolam) overdose and risk of death
is increased when combined with opiates and when used intravenously, with
symptoms including respiratory distress, coma and death.
"More than 80 deaths have occurred after the use of midazolam . . . 78% of the
deaths associated with midazolam were respiratory in nature." (MIDAZOLAM
HYDROCHLORIDE: Human Health Effects, http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+6751
"The initial intravenous dose for sedation in adult patients may be as little as
1 mg, but should not exceed 2.5 mg in a normal healthy adult.", Midazolam
4 times that initial maximum dose was given to McGuire.
However, " . . . total dose >5 mg (of midazolam) "usually" (my emphasis) not
necessary to reach desired sedation . . .", Medscape, midazolam (Rx) - Versed,
Hydromorphone overdose, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002633.html
"IV initial dose: 0.2 to 1 mg every 2 to 3 hours (given slowly over at least 2
to 3 minutes)", Hydromorphone Dosage, http://www.drugs.com/dosage/hydromorphone.html
40-200 times those dosages were given to McGuire.