Convicted Killer Faces Untried Execution Cocktail As Governor Denies Clemency
Ohio's governor is refusing to spare a condemned killer who raped and stabbed to death a pregnant woman and is sentenced to die by a lethal injection process never used in the United States.
Governor John Kasich's decision comes in the case of death row inmate Dennis McGuire, scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1989 killing of Joy Stewart in Preble County in western Ohio. The governor's announcement Tuesday did not explain his reasoning, as is customary when he denies mercy in death penalty cases. Kasich followed a ruling last month of the Ohio Parole Board, which rejected arguments from McGuire's attorneys that he suffered a chaotic and abusive childhood.
McGuire faces execution by a combination of two drugs untried in the U.S. Attorneys trying to stop the execution argued in federal court that the two-drug combination won't sedate McGuire properly, and he will experience a suffocation-like syndrome known as "air hunger". The drugs were chosen because of a shortage of other lethal injection drugs.