Since the day stone cold killer Dennis McGuire was exectuted, many media outlets have expressed their concern. Now the NY Times, essentially the “paper of record”, joins in
(NY Times) As the lethal drugs flowed into his veins in the Ohio death chamber, Dennis B. McGuire at first “went unconscious” and his body was still, his daughter, Amber McGuire, said Friday.
But a few minutes later, she said, she was horrified to see her father struggling, his stomach heaving, a fist clenching.
“He started making all these horrible, horrible noises, and at that point, that’s when I covered my eyes and my ears,” said Ms. McGuire, who watched the execution on Thursday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, near Lucasville. “He was suffering.”
Mr. McGuire’s execution, conducted with a new and untested combination of drugs, took about 25 minutes from the time the drugs were started to the time death was declared. The process, several witnesses said, was accompanied by movement and gasping, snorting and choking sounds.
It has not been established whether Mr. McGuire was conscious of pain or whether the drugs that were used were responsible for his prolonged death. But at a time when the drugs once routinely used in executions are in short supply and states are scrambling to find new formulas, the execution is stirring intense debate about the obligations of the state toward those it kills.
Stirring debate, eh? The children of this stone cold killer plan on filing a lawsuit in federal court that this new cocktail of lethal drugs violates the Constitutional provision against cruel and unusual punishment. In fact, this was the wish of the killer. But, what about the victim?
But the family of Joy Stewart, the woman Mr. McGuire raped and murdered in 1989, said in a statement that whatever Mr. McGuire’s suffering, it paled in comparison with what Ms. Stewart went through at the hands of her killer. “He is being treated far more humanely than he treated her,” the statement said.
That’s all we get about Ms. Stewart. Thank you, NY Times, for being so detailed. Oh, wait
Joy Stewart, 22, of West Alexandria, a small town about 20 miles west of Dayton, was about 30-weeks pregnant when McGuire raped her, choked her, and slashed her throat so deeply it severed both her carotid artery and jugular vein. At the same point, her unborn child died, too, probably in the woods in the rural area of Preble County where her body was found the next day by two hikers.
“This has been a long time coming. Joy’s death was the hardest thing our family has had to endure,” the victim’s family said in a three-paragraph statement.
“There has been a lot of controversy regarding the drugs that are to be used in his execution, concern that he might feel terror; that he might suffer. As I recall the events preceding her death, forcing her from the car, attempting to rape her vaginally, sodomizing her, choking her, stabbing her, I know she suffered terror and pain. He is being treated far more humanely than he treated her.
Nice of the Times to shorten the quote about being treated far more humanely.