Ohio's Solution to Drawn-Out Execution: Bigger Dose

Inmate didn't suffer during long execution, state decides

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 29, 2014 1:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – The unusually long execution of Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire with a previously untested combo of drugs did not cause him "any pain or distress," state authorities have decided—but they plan to up the dosage in the future to be sure. McGuire, who raped and murdered a pregnant woman in 1989, was seen struggling and gasping during the execution and took 25 minutes to die.

A state review concluded that McGuire was unconscious and his movements were muscle spasms "consistent with the effects of the drugs, his obesity and other body characteristics," the Plain Dealer reports. McGuire—whose lawyer called the execution a "failed, agonizing experiment"—was executed with a combination of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone, the BBC notes. For future executions, Ohio says it will up the dosage of midazolam from 10mg to 50mg and the dosage of hydromorphone from 40mg to 50mg.

This 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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