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."
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
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...