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Council of Europe condemns ‘cruel’ execution of Ohio killer, calls for protest

Published time: January 17, 2014 17:41
General view of the Parliamentary Assembly's plenary room at the Council of Europe (Reuters/Vincent Kessler)

General view of the Parliamentary Assembly's plenary room at the Council of Europe (Reuters/Vincent Kessler)

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe expressed outrage at the “cruel and inhuman” execution of a convicted killer in Ohio with an untested drug that lasted an unusually long time, calling on Americans to protest against “such atrocities.”

Denis McGuire, 53, spent the last 15 minutes of his life gasping for breath on Thursday while being executed with an “experimental” drug cocktail. The execution that lasted 25 minutes from the lethal ejection to the pronouncement of his death has been described as one of the longest since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999.

Marina Schuster (Germany, ALDE), General Rapporteur on the abolition of the death penalty for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on Friday expressed her outrage calling the people to protest against the use of “inhumane” punishment.

“For a quarter of an hour, Mr McGuire suffered horribly, in front of his wife and children, from pain and panic caused by drug-induced breathing distress,”
Schuster said, accordinb to the PACE website. “No execution method is ever humane, but this terribly botched state killing shows, for all to see, what a cruel and inhuman punishment the death penalty is. This punishment has no place in a civilized society. I call on the American people to protest against such atrocities being committed in their name.”

Family members of the death row inmate called the execution unconstitutional and planned a Friday news conference to announce a lawsuit over McGuire's death.

McGuire’s lawyers had attempted last week to block his execution. They voiced concerns that the new death cocktail could lead to a medical phenomenon known as “air hunger” and cause the inmate to suffer "agony and terror."

The convicted killer's death was "a failed, agonizing experiment," McGuire's attorney Allen Bohnert said. "The people of the state of Ohio should be appalled at what was done here today in their name."

McGuire was put to death by 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 refused to make them available for the purpose of capital punishment. He was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of a pregnant newlywed woman.

Comments (26)


Edrick Patward 20.01.2014 20:31

My guess is Marina Schuster would be singing a different tune if it was her pregnant sister or mother who was murdered by this killer. Most taxpayers in the US would prefer that the law monopoly would execute them immediately once they were proven 100% guilty. This current system of milking the public dry by keeping alive killers sentenced to die for 25 years just shows it's not about justice it's about how many times can the law monopoly bill the taxpayers. Not to mention housing and feeding these banes of society. This is what should be abolished and outlawed. Six months after conviction,hang them. Justice served.


Luca Valenzin 19.01.2014 23:30

The point is not the crime committed (we can only hope death penalty is given ONLY for terrible crimes ....); the point is death penalty in itself. Certainly the guilty man should pay for the crime but it has nothing to do with death penalty; the difference is that the convicted KNOWS he is going to die beforehand; too long to write in this post but just imagine if you already knew the day you will die... You will not "live" any day of your long/short life.


Mark 19.01.2014 11:26

George Orwell 18.01.2014 01:15

I'm sorry, I laughed when i read this story and what happend to this POS. Looks like justice was served.


Totally agree, I wonder if he thought of his victim while he was suffering? I wonder if he related his suffering to that moment in time when he was raping that woman. Did he think of her, If I were him I would have been for sure and thinking this is what i get for comitting such a terrible crime against a poor lady only starting out in life with a family. He destroyed several lives, he didn't suffer enough in my opinion.

View all comments (26)
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