LUCASVILLE, OH – The death penalty in itself is controversial.
But it wasn’t a matter of life or death for convicted murderer Dennis McGuire. It was a matter of how he would die.
McGuire was sentenced to death for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of Joy Stewart in western Ohio. She was eight months pregnant at the time.
But in September, Ohio ran out of pentobarbital, the drug used in lethal injections.
The next option was a two-drug cocktail, never before used in the U.S.
McGuire’s lawyers argued the process would be too painful and terrifying. But Thursday morning, McGuire was put to death anyway.
Reports say it took 15 minutes. It was one of the longest executions in the state’s history.
McGuire reportedly suffocated to death.
Debate continues over whether or not the drug is humane. But that circles back to the death penalty altogether.