Ohio Inmate Likely to Suffer 'Terror' During Execution

Expert warns against state's untested drugs

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 10, 2014 1:00 PM CST

(Newser) – A death-row inmate in Ohio will likely suffer the "terror" of a suffocation-like phenomenon known as air hunger during his execution, an anesthesiologist told a judge today. "Air hunger is a horrible feeling," said the expert at a federal court hearing, reports AP. "It's the inability to get your breath." Attorneys for Dennis McGuire are trying to get the state to hold off on executing the 53-year-old next week using a combination of two drugs untested in the US.

"Mr. McGuire is at a substantial risk of experiencing the terror of air hunger during the first five minutes of the execution," said the anesthesiologist, who added that McGuire is at especially high risk because he has sleep apnea. The hearing might be his best hope to at least delay Thursday's execution because the governor rejected a clemency plea earlier this week, reports Cleveland.com. McGuire raped and murdered a 22-year-old newlywed, who was 30 weeks pregnant at the time, in 1989.

This file photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows Dennis McGuire.
This file photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows Dennis McGuire.   (AP Photo/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, File)
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