20 March 2014
Condemned murderer Dennis McGuire, within four minutes of his lethal injection, in the windowless death house at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, began to have trouble breathing. He gasped and snorted for the next ten minutes and then lay peaceful until declared dead, approximately twenty-four minutes after the novel two-drug cocktail was pumped into his arm.
This was mid-morning the sixteenth of January, the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen. Perhaps you heard of it. There have been many executions before this one and will be more, after, but this one was the first state-sanctioned killing in the New Year and it made national news because of the first-time use of this particular combination of drugs, the length of the procedure, obvious distress of the man on the gurney, traumatized family witnesses and a lot of I-told-you-so’s by McGuire’s attorneys. It all made for lively reportage.