An expert is now testifying that Mr. McGuire did in fact suffer from the lethal injection process that was carried out for his execution.
Despite arguments that Dennis McGuire would experience agony and suffering due to the lethal injection protocol, his execution went forward on January 16, 2014. The execution took an abnormally long time and involved McGuire gasping throughout the process. Afterwards, the State of Ohio claimed that there were no problems with the execution of Mr. McGuire. In his review of the execution, warden of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility Donald Morgan said “The process worked very well.”
U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost seemed to disagree; in early August, he issued a moratorium on executions for 2014.
In a statement from Kevin Werner, Executive Director of Ohioans to Stop Executions, regarding today’s of a medical affidavit on the execution of Dennis McGuire:
“In light of Dr. Dively’s affidavit that Dennis McGuire’s execution was not humane, we are certainly relieved that Judge Frost has postponed further experimental executions in our state. Ohio has made repeated attempts to find a safe and dependable execution protocol and it has failed repeatedly.
“Sooner or later, I can see the legislature trying to make this all secret in order to avoid this scrutiny, but that will just make things worse in the long run. Instead of doing everything in its power to keep lethal injection behind a wall of governmental secrecy, Ohio must ensure its actions are open and transparent.
“That said, Ohio needs to get out of the execution business altogether. At the very least, the reforms recommended by the Supreme Court Task Force to make the system more fair and accurate need to be implemented as soon as possible.”