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McGuire's Family to File Federal Lawsuit After Execution
UPDATE: DAYTON, OHIO -- Attorneys for the children of Dennis McGuire today announced he's filing a federal lawsuit on their behalf.
McGuire's son Dennis says he wants to end the death penalty in America. McGuire's children and daughter-in-law witnessed his execution, the first lethal injection by the State of Ohio to use an untried two-drug protocol. The convicted killer spent 10 minutes gasping for air before his death. Amber McGuire says, It was horrible. Dennis McGuire added, It appeared to me he was fighting for his life by suffocating. I can only describe it as torture.
Attorney Richard Schulte says, We don't think Mr. McGuire should have been an experiment for the State of Ohio.
McGuire was put to death for the 1989 murder of Joy Stewart, who was eight months pregnant. Attorney John Paul Rion says, This is not a case where we're asking that to be forgiven. Instead, Rion says his team will seek a federal injunction, ordering the state of Ohio to stop executions, and stop using the drug concoction used in McGuire's lethal injection.
McGuire's defense attorney argued against the method this week in federal court, and the judge ruled it did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Federal courts sanctioned the use of midazolam and hydromorphone in 2009, which allowed the state of Ohio to adopt their use to carry out the death penalty.
DAYTON -- The family of Dennis McGuire, who was executed Thursday at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, has indicated it plans to file a federal lawsuit claiming the method of that execution constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
The family held a press conference this morning in the law offices of Rion Rion & Rion in downtown Dayton. The family described McGuire's death as "suffocation execution."
McGuire was put to death with a previously untried two-drug combination after the state's previous method was withdrawn by the manufacturer in protest of its use in executions.
The new drugs reportedly took longer than normal for McGuire to die. After the injection of the drugs, his body reportedly was wracked with movement, he was gasping for breath and making loud snoring-like noises that lasted about 10 minutes.
He was pronounced dead at 10:53, about 25 minutes from the start of the process.
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