April 23, 2014

Mostly clear

Family of murderer, rapist: Execution was ‘torture,’ will sue

COLUMBUS — A convicted killer took 26 minutes to die during an execution in which he gasped repeatedly — the longest execution in Ohio since the state resumed capital punishment 15 years ago, records show.

The case has led to cries of cruel and unusual punishment and demands for a moratorium on executions in Ohio.

The timeline of Dennis McGuire’s death indicates he began receiving Ohio’s never-before-tried combination of lethal drugs at 10:27 a.m. Thursday and was pronounced dead at 10:53 a.m.

Dennis McGuire

Dennis McGuire

The next-longest execution was the 22 minutes it took killer Reginald Brooks to die in 2011, according to an Associated Press analysis of the timelines of the 53 Ohio executions since 1999. Brooks received a lethal dose of a different drug.

McGuire, 53, was put to death for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of a pregnant newlywed, Joy Stewart. He was executed with doses of a sedative and painkiller that had never been used before to put an inmate to death in the U.S.

He gasped, made snorting sounds and repeatedly opened and shut his mouth during the execution.

Most inmates over the past 15 years took 15 minutes or less to die, the records show. In years when Ohio’s lethal injection mix consisted of three drugs, many inmates died in less than 10 minutes, according to the records. Also, executions under the old method did not cause the kind of sounds McGuire made.

Ohio’s prison system, which is reviewing the execution, declined to comment on the amount of time it took McGuire to die.

McGuire’s unusually slow execution amounted to torture, the man’s adult children said Friday as they announced plans to sue over his death.

“I don’t feel like anybody deserves that — families, or my dad, anybody on death row — nobody deserves to go through that,” said McGuire’s son, also named Dennis.

McGuire’s daughter, Amber McGuire, said she was so horrified that she covered her ears so she wouldn’t hear the sounds he made.

The execution violated McGuire’s constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment, said attorney Jon Paul Rion, representing McGuire’s children. He called it unquestionably cruel.

“The question is whether or not the state of Ohio should duplicate the actions of a criminal. And our answer is no,” Rion said. “If we are going to condemn the actions of a person as being wrong because it creates pain, because it creates victims, because it creates an injustice, because it deprives people of life unjustly, then the state of Ohio should not duplicate those actions.”

It’s almost certain lawyers will use McGuire’s execution to challenge Ohio’s plans to put a condemned Cleveland-area killer to death in March.

Prison officials gave McGuire intravenous doses of two drugs, the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone. The method was adopted after supplies of a previously used drug dried up because the manufacturer declared it off limits for capital punishment.

McGuire’s lawyers had attempted last week to block his execution, warning that the untried method could lead to a medical phenomenon known as “air hunger” and could cause him to suffer “agony and terror” while struggling to catch his breath.

An attorney for the state of Ohio argued that while the U.S. Constitution bans cruel and unusual punishment, “you’re not entitled to a pain-free execution.”

U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost sided with the state. But at the request of McGuire’s lawyers, he ordered officials to photograph and preserve the drug vials, packaging and syringes.

After McGuire was put to death, his attorney called on Republican Gov. John Kasich to impose a moratorium on executions, as did a state anti-death penalty group.

The execution is also likely to echo across the country as other states contemplate new drug methods, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment.

“Judges will now realize that the warnings being raised about these untried procedures are not just false alarms,” he said in an email. “States will now have more of a burden to show that they are using a well-thought-out best practice.”

  • NotCC

    Perhaps the family of the woman and child that this man murdered should sue the murder’s family for their pain and suffering.

  • Roger Brown

    Could not have said it better CC.

  • Jack West

    dig him up and do it again,until you get it right.

  • Reality

    You can’t lie to “Karma”

  • annonymous

    what about the torture pain and suffering the woman he murdered went thru. the law doesn’t state that his execution has to be painless. seems like justice to me.

  • Buffalo

    This article said that it took 26 minutes for this piece of garbage to die, even though two other articles yesterday said it took “roughly 10 minutes” (Springfield News-Sun) and “over 15 minutes” (Newsmax) – so, which is it and why the disparity all of a sudden? Are people trying to overdramatize this “man’s” suffering to make a case against capital punishment? As far as the rapist/murderer’s attorney and daughter making their cases against “cruel and unusual punishment” and “nobody deserves to go through that,” what did the murdered woman do to deserve her unjust fate? This guy was punished, but I’m not sure he got everything he truly deserved.

  • chris cook

    why do we care how long it takes?i hope it takes a long time to kill him..he needs to suffer

  • will

    you reap what you sow!

  • corey

    It is just easier for the murderer’s family to mourn their loss, if any, while they drive a Porsche and live a plush lifestyle at the cost of the government. They will gain big bucks while ridding the family of an evil person. Win, win.

  • kathy

    OMG. What about the terror, pain and horror that young woman suffered at the hands of this animal. Not to mention he also killed an unborn child. In case you can’t count, that’s
    2 murders!

  • jag11

    McGuire, 53, was put to death for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of a pregnant newlywed, Joy Stewart.

    Sorry it ended that way but it sounds like the execution was tame compared to the crime. What kind of defective children did he leave behind that considers this torture?

  • bumboo58

    You may have your heads chopped off OR be burnt at the stake.
    We’ll take burning at the stake.
    What did you tell him that for?
    A hot steak is better than a cold chop!

  • drl320

    This guy was asleep. I would be willing to bet that he has a history of sleep apnea which would explain his so called gasping. His children and the attorney who took thier case should be ashamed of themselves. Their father got the long delayed punishment that he so richly desrved.

  • doc12345


  • Nana Berry

    Good luck with that.

  • Nana Berry

    Um, he is already dead. DId you read the article? DId you even read the headline????????

  • WePeople

    What he was found guilty of his beyond horrible. What McGuire’s family had to witness was too. His family is also innocent. They loved their dad. It is the impact on the family of the man that was executed that is at issue here.
    Joy and her baby DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE. That’s what McGuire’s trial was for, he was found guilty and sentenced.
    A family member in prison was a sentence on his own family as well. I am sure they have grieved the loss of their father for years.
    Cruel and unusual punishment happens every day in our prisons in the USA. Even for those lucky enough to be given a second chance and have the opportunity to be released are dehumanized, ridiculed and have unspeakable things happen to them while incarcerated. And society wonders why there are alarming rates of recidivism absence any real programs to rehabilitate offenders?
    Back to the point, he nor his family deserved cruel and unusual punishment any more than anyone else in our society.

  • sag

    this is a joke, right??? Wonder how long that little girl suffered during the rape and torture before she died??? Sorry, dude… they should have let you fry for a lot longer than that!!!

  • Billy Weems

    Those of us who aren’t rapists and murderers have to put up with these filthy creatures. We pay for them in worry, money, and time. We are way, way too indulgent of this people.

  • ffd95

    To this man’s family, I’m almost certain your father didn’t suffer near as long as the woman he raped, and murdered suffered. Besides that, look how long the people of Ohio had to suffer providing food, medical care, and shelter since he committed this crime. I do agree that it took too long. Firing squad, electric chair, or hanging. Fast and effective!!!
    Here’s what I don’t understand, Why don’t the states send out for bid to all the pharmacy companies to come up with a fast lethal injection? Why can’t they use the same drugs they use to euthanize dogs? Just up the dosage? I’m just saying.

  • ffd95

    But all the things you have mentioned obviously aren’t a strong enough deterrent to committing crimes like this. He should have thought about his family before he committed the crime.

  • Outraged

    Sounds like you are a “reformed” ex-prisoner yourself! And we all know that everyone in prison is innocent!

  • alicia sabo

    His family makes me sick!

  • WePeople

    He should have. He did not–whether he was mentally ill, I do not know. His family, as far as I am aware, did not have any part in this horrendous act that he committed however.

  • cb

    Hear, hear. Also of note: ” ‘nobody deserves to go through that’ said McGuire’s son” . . . . i think the state of Ohio respectfully disagrees.

    Also, before dying, McGuire’s last words were “I’m going to heaven and I’ll see you there when you come,” Good thing God didn’t wait until AFTER he died to give him a taste of what was to come.

  • Bill

    Please tell these Family Members to Shut the Hell Up!! The Man was and Pig, and any Family members that cry tears for this Piece of Garbage should join him. It is a travesty that these bottom feeders even have a chance to sue the county. What is this country coming to?

  • WePeople

    No I am not an ex-prisoner. I do however have knowledge of what goes on behind the walls of prisons in Illinois. I do not believe that everyone in prison is innocent. I just know that percentage-wise those that get released do not have any better chance of improving their lives than when they enter prison. They call it “corrections” here in Illinois. They have cut most programs from our prisons so those that even want to improve their lives cannot. This however is off-topic for this article. The point I am making is that the family of the offender suffers here. They, I am sure, are very sorry this happened to their lives for their dad’s sake as well as for the victim and family. It does not take away from the victims’ family’s immense pain. We are supposed to be civilized here in this country. If our law says no cruel and unusual punishment, that is the law.

  • JRF

    Unless he repented of his sins and put his trust in Jesus Christ, he is definitely getting the justice his sins deserve, for eternity. His 26 mins or whatever of gasping for air cannot begin to compare to the terrors of hell.

  • josh

    why can’t they just do a firing squad or firearm execution? Whats all this crap about being subtle with injections that barely work it seems? He deserved to die, should have put a pistol against his head and helped him along to the afterlife to start the next punishment for the crimes of his former life.

  • whitepumpservice

    Why not stop all this crap Folks want fast death I have the answer just strap 4 lbs. of C4 to his worthless hide and detonate and if any one can gather enough pieces and put them together again they can ask him /Did That Hurt Bub?

  • Jennifer Lounsbury

    I wonder if the support of his family is what gave him the operertunity to commit these crimes in the first place. Maybe the victims families should sue them for being so stupid and supporting a criminal.

  • whitepumpservice

    He he was commited to his family he would got his rocks off at home with his ole lady not some little girl pervert should have lingered a lot longer in death

  • aqua bin laden

    This man doesn’t deserve 22 minutes. Raping someone traumatized them for life, he should of gotten his limbs cut off one by one.

  • Buffalo

    The points you bring up are all valid! I’m not sure why they don’t use the other three means of execution – none of them are any more or less “cruel or unusual” than lethal injection and they are cheaper. While we’re at it, the state (the nation, actually) should try to cut down the amount of time inmates have before the execution. Paying for the care and upkeep of scumbags for 25+ years is almost as disgusting as the reasons they’re on death row!

  • JC

    Good….he raped and killed a woman who was pregnant and just was married. Torture is good for this scumbag. I am absolutley for him and anyone like him suffering some after the suffering they caused.

  • JC

    Screw them…he should have been killed slowly

  • Traci Rydbom Monroe

    Define cruel and unusual punishment, what his victim and her family suffered was far more cruel than what he went through and his family has no right to profit from his crime!!

  • Traci Rydbom Monroe

    His family has no right to profit from his crime!!

  • Maxy Z Toplik

    I have a solution: Get Old Sparky out of storage and give the condemned person a CHOICE?

  • Maxy Z Toplik

    China has a good idea: A pistol shot to the back of the head. Instant!

  • Linda

    I do not believe it was cruel. This is just a way for people to get money for a rediculous reason. Yes, I have family, and yes I love each and every one of them & would not want them to suffer, but if they had the sence to have done a horrific crime such as this, I feel they knew the consequences that were ahead…no one would promise them easy street after that. We all go through pain in our lives..should we sue a doctor everytime we come out of surgery? He inflicted more pain on those inocent lives that he took. Was that fair? What about their pain..they suffered more than he did & .he’s not to be man enough to feel the same pain in his puishment.? My feelings are that the family of the those he killed, should in turn sue his family for their pain and suffering of their loved ones ! They deserved justice and actually I feel he got off pretty dam easy, let alone his now being able to bring his family $ as a reward for his actions. I too feel that his moaning and such was a set up….Where was his family to help him before he commited such an act? obviously he needed help and showed signs of something being wrong long before this terrible act. I am surprised that no one hadn’t taken his life in prison for what he had done..he was pretty lucky there…especially since it was a mother and unborn child. This pitty & rewards for the guilty needs to stop? He got off easy..I am in favor of having the same thing done to a killer as he does to another.
    ” Eye for an eye “

  • Linda

    I too believe that he was aware of this law and did these sound effects of pain as an act to know that he could get even with the justice system as well as $ awarded to his family. If the attorney didn’t put him up to this, someone else did (family perhaps) ? This law, in my opinion is like everythig else in our society- favors the criminal. Those who have had to suffer at the hands of a criminal don’t get thei justice. All is wrong with this when suffering goes only one direction!. Too bad someone wasn’t there while he was cmmiting this terrible murder to take him down…oh, but wait… then I guess this upstanding citizen would also be held responsible for delivering cruel punishment with pain?

  • Linda

    YES it was ! He didn’t suffer enough …The same thing he did to this poor girl should have been done to him so he could feel the real pain he caused. All of these do gooders who side with a criminal like this I wonder if they would change their minds if it had been their mother, sister, daughter or wife ? you bet they would !

  • Linda

    oh yes….agreed. Family is only in it for the money now. Thanks to those money hungry attorneys who start crap like this Do you really think they gave a thought to the type of man he was before he did this. If because of a dumb judge( can’t see any jury siding in the family’s favor ) this guys family does get any money out of this …yes it would be nice to see the victims family then sue them for that money in return for their pain and suffering

  • Linda

    Sleep apnea…that sure would explain it too?

  • Linda

    So true

  • Linda

    If for some reason the family does come out of this with money for the injustice of their father, I do hope the “Karma” or also said ” what goes around comes around:” gets to them and this attorney afterward.

  • Linda

    Definately Yes ..But Im sure there’s a law somewhere to prevent that ( only because the laws seem to be on the side of the non-desering) !!!

  • Linda

    Bill, I think we all know the answer to that question, since the laws were made to protect the guilty

  • Linda

    whole heartedly agree !