Family of executed Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire file lawsuit to ban use of new lethal injection

McGuire was the first prisoner to be executed with a new cocktail of lethal drugs and took 26 minutes to die

The family of a convicted murder who was put to death in Ohio using a previously untested cocktail of drugs has said his prolonged execution was unconstitutional and should not be used again in a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed late Friday, also alleges the drug manufacturer that produced the medications used in the lethal injection illegally allowed them to be used for an execution and should be prohibited from making them available for capital punishment.

Fifty-three-year-old Dennis McGuire was the first prisoner to be executed with a new method of lethal injection, using an untested mix of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone.

He had taken 26 minutes to die, the longest since the state resumed putting inmates to death in 1999, according to an Associated Press analysis of execution logs held by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

‘People should be ashamed’: Family speaks out onOhio's 25-minute 'experimental' execution for convicted murderer and rapist

Normally, the victims of lethal injection show movement in the early moments of their execution, and then lie still. McGuire, by contrast, remained motionless for approximately five minutes, before snorting suddenly and gulping for air.

McGuire "repeated cycles of snorting, gurgling and arching his back, appearing to writhe in pain," the lawsuit states. "It looked and sounded as though he was suffocating."

Convicted murderer and rapist ‘gasped and took 15 minutes to die’ in Ohio drug trial execution

The lawsuit by McGuire's family targets Lake Forest, Illinois-based Hospira Inc., the manufacturer of the drugs used in McGuire's execution.

The company knew its drugs were being used for executions but continued to sell them to Ohio, according to the lawsuit, which seeks damages above $75,000.

Hospira should have been aware that the drugs "would cause unnecessary and extreme pain and suffering during the execution process," the lawsuit said.

In 2011, Hospira ended production of sodium thiopental, a drug used by many states for executions, including Ohio, after it couldn't guarantee to Italian authorities where its factory was located that the drug wouldn't be used for capital punishment.

The company also has prohibited other drugs from being used in executions, and will take the same steps for midazolam and hydromorphone, the drugs used in the McGuire execution, according to a company statement.

His daughter Amber watched her father's execution as he gasped several times, before finally expiring at 10.53pm on 16 January.

“It was the most awful moment in my life to witness my dad’s execution,” Ms McGuire said in a statement later. “I can’t think of any other way to describe it than torture.”

Additional reporting by Associated Press

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave