Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The (imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution


The (imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution
Dudley Sharp


Ohio justly executed rapist/torturer/murderer Dennis McGuire.

Unconscious, McGuire snored and the media went apoplectic.

The Horror is that anti death penalty folks and their allies in 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 baby’s name would have been Carl, his mother’s 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. McGuire’s 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 University (2).

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 McGuire’s 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  . . and they don't just, suddenly, disappear, for no reason.


From Current Preble County Prosecutor Martin Votle (5) :

“The focus needs to stay where it belongs and that’s on Joy." " . . .  if there has been any injustice done it’s in a delay of 20 years between the imposition of that sentence . . . and the execution . . ".

"(McGuire) was vicious and dangerous. He had raped and murdered Joy Morningstar, gotten away with it and then 10 months later decided he liked abducting and assaulting women at knife point so much he did it again." " . . . “he abducted that 15-year-old at knife point . . . " "The girl struggled with him and he beat her and they made so much noise that her family and friends ran out the front door of the house and interceded and saved her life. . . "

“(McGuire) was a predator and had he not been caught, there is no doubt in my mind he would have continued that behavior until he was caught.”

“It occurred to me that Feb. 11 (2014), we’re talking three weeks now, will be the 25th anniversary of the murder. That (unborn son, Carl)  very likely would be looking forward to his 25th birthday coming up here. That’s pretty heartbreaking.” "(Carl) would have died from suffocation."

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

5) Home Votel: Victims need to be remembered, The Register Herald, January, 2014,
By Eddie Mowen Jr

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 Injection,
http://www.drugs.com/pro/midazolam-injection.html

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, IV, http://reference.medscape.com/drug/versed-midazolam-342907

"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.