Death Penalty

Ohio Facing Lawsuit Over Twenty-Five Minute Execution That Used New Combination of Drugs

Dennis McGuire put to death last night

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state tried to kill him "humanely"
Reason

Last night's apparently botched execution of Dennis McGuire, which lasted more than 20 minutes, is leading to wider consequences for the death penalty in Ohio, including a lawsuit.

From the AP:

Ohio's capital punishment system is likely to face new challenges following an unusually long execution in which the condemned man appeared to gasp several times.

Family members of death row inmate Dennis McGuire planned a Friday news conference to announce a lawsuit over McGuire's death, which they are calling unconstitutional. And it's almost certain lawyers will use McGuire's Thursday execution to challenge Ohio's plans to put a condemned Cleveland-area killer to death next month.

Ohio switched to a new drug for its lethal injections late last year, after running out of pentobarbital, whose manufacturer stopped selling it for use in administering the death penalty.  McGuire is the third death row inmate to be executed in the U.S. this year.

Ohio is one of 32 U.S. states with the death penalty on the books, all of which primarily use lethal injections. The last person to be killed by another means was Robert Gleason in Virginia, who chose the electric chair and was executed last year after killing two fellow prisoners in jail.

More Reason on the death penalty.

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  1. So if they win the suit, the State has to bring him back to life?

    1. With an enormous schwanzstucker.

    2. Well, we developed the tech for use in the Necronomibomb, so it should work.

      1. No, it’s for CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN. Get your end of the world scenarios straight.

        1. Which one was that again? I think I’ve conflated a few.

          1. Well it’s certainly not AZORIAN BLUE HADES.

            1. Duh, we shelved the entire BLUE HADES line when we made peace with the atlantians after they realized they’d be extinct within a generation and wanted to stop fighting.

              1. The Benthic Treaty can be broken at any time!

    3. So if they win the suit, the State has to bring him back to life?

      As soon as he brings back the woman he raped and choked to death. I’m sure she let out a few gasps too before the end — not that Reason gives a damn about what this creep did.

  2. Remember, when the state does it, it’s not murder.

    1. If you are being sarcastic, and arguing in fact that when the state does it, it’s no less murder than when a private individual does it, I wonder if you’d accept the corollary to that position, that arrest and imprisonment is no less kidnapping when the state does it than when a private individual does it.

      1. I do accept the corollary. If men clap handcuffs on you and take you away against your will, that’s kidnapping. Many would claim it’s justified if the person committed a crime, but that doesn’t change the simple fact that men with guns are forcibly restraining and imprisoning someone against their will.

        1. …but that doesn’t change the simple fact that men with guns are forcibly restraining and imprisoning someone against their will.

          Actually, it kinda does, in the same way that shooting somebody who is in the process of trying to kill you changes the fact that you are shooting somebody against their will.

    2. Very apt.

  3. Ohio is one of 32 U.S. states with the death penalty on the books, all of which primarily use lethal injections. The last person to be killed by another means was Robert Gleason in Virginia, who chose the electric chair and was executed last year after killing two fellow prisoners in jail.

    I actually think this is the only time I’m in favor of the death penalty. If you can’t live in prison without murdering your fellow inmates, then there’s really nothing more to be done. If the other inmates need to be protected from you, then the death penalty seems completely valid.

    1. I need some more details about the circumstances. Did he initiate? Did he over-escalate? Or did he defend?

      But yeah, when you can’t stop killing people, you gotta be put down.

      1. Apparently he killed them to get his execution date pushed up

        1. There are easier ways to commit suicide in prison.

          1. Do those ways come with a last meal?

            1. Unless you’ve never eaten, you’ve always had a last meal.

              1. You call prison food “eating” and “a meal”?

                1. Never having been to prison, I really can’t say.

                  1. San Quentin State Prison Lunch Pack: A Review http://foodjunk.wordpress.com/…..-a-review/

    2. What about the guy in this story? He raped and murdered a pregnant woman and attempted to frame his own brother in law for it.

      1. I think he should have been imprisoned for life with no possibility of parole.

        Personally, I don’t think that the state should have the power of life and death over its own citizens except in very extreme circumstances.

        An extreme circumstance would be someone murdering an inmate or guard, for example. In that instance, you obviously can’t keep holding the guy in jail because he’s a threat to his fellow inmates. I also don’t think solitary confinement is acceptable due to the fact that it’s essentially torture.

        1. I think the death penalty should be reserved for special cases, such as serial killers and people who commit particularly heinous crimes like victimizing a defenseless pregnant woman.

          To me that level of evil warrants death. I realize the state sucks and has a history of railroading innocent people (hello, Texas) but ultimately that does not change my opinion that some people just need killing.

          1. That’s pretty depraved on your part. If you admit that the state fucks up or even purposefully railroads people, ever, then you are stating unequivocally that you don’t care, and that your bloodthirstiness is more important than making sure that the state never murders an innocent person.

            1. What I am stating is that the moral impetus to get justice for the victims of truly depraved crimes outweighs the faults in the system.

              The way I see things, the vast majority of cases that involve homicide do not warrant death, be they crimes of passion or profit. But I do want the death penalty as an option for people who take pleasure in the harming and killing of other people and so no remorse for it.

              1. How does killing someone get justice? Does it bring back dead people? Are you a superstitious person who believes in human sacrifice? I’m curious.

                There is no fucking moral impetus to kill people for revenge, especially if there is any chance they might actually be innocent, and considering how terrible our system is, that possibility always exists. Revenge isn’t justice, it’s just fucking revenge. I get the emotion, but don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining by pretending revenge is justice.

                1. How does killing someone get justice?

                  Exactly my thought. Victims of heinous crimes won’t get justice ever. You can’t give them back what the lost. The death penalty is only about revenge. And while revenge is an understandable impulse, it does no good for anyone, it just creates more victims and more desire for revenge.

                  And even if you think that revenge is just, the fact that there have definitely been people wrongly executed should be reason enough to oppose it. It will happen again and that is completely unacceptable.

                  1. Exactly my thought. Victims of heinous crimes won’t get justice ever. You can’t give them back what the lost.

                    So why bother arresting, trying, and imprisoning the criminals?

                    Justice comes in two flavors: Restitution (repaying the victim) and retribution (not to put too fine a point on it, vengeance).

                    Prison sentences of any kind are retribution. Sure, they may have a side order of keeping society safe, but that same side gets served with execution as well.

                    Now, there’s a flavor of retribution that is specifically eschewed in the Constitution: “cruel and unusual” punishment, which clearly covers some things (torture) and no so clearly may or may not cover others (excessively long sentences, execution).

                    [rabbit trail: execution was plainly not “cruel and unusual” back in the day, so an argument that its unconstitutional can easily devolve into vulgar “living constitution” territory.]

                    Imprisonment takes time out of your life that can never be returned, so execution isn’t unique in being irreversible.

                    Saying execution is irreversible, and/or that it doesn’t really help the victim, really isn’t much of a distinction from imprisonment. Maybe enough of one, but maybe not.

                    1. Execution isn’t a distinction from imprisonment? Sure, you can’t get the time you were imprisoned back, but you can at least live the rest of your life outside of prison. When you die, that’s it. The point of the “doesn’t really help the victim” is that there is no benefit to the death penalty (as opposed to the alternative of life in prison) that justifies killing innocent people, which will inevitably happen.

                    2. I’m just trying to clarify the distinction between imprisonment and the death penalty. As with many arguments, there’s a lot of sloppy thinking on all sides.

                      To make sure I’m on the same page:

                      The death penalty cannot be stopped, once implemented, so the injustice of a wrongful death penalty can not be stopped.

                      Imprisonment can be stopped, which at least means that the injustice of wrongful imprisonment can be stopped, (albeit not reversed).

                      Fair enough. I can see hanging some further arguments off of that.

                2. “How does killing someone get justice? Does it bring back dead people?”

                  No. That’s not the intent. “Justice” is a concept found in the branch of philosophy known as Ethics. Civilized, ethical cultures believe that a criminal should receive a punishment commensurate with his crime. Murder, being the ultimate crime, is deserving of the ultimate punishment.

                  “There is no fucking moral impetus to kill people for revenge.”

                  Certainly not. But you’re confusing “justice” with “revenge.” Revenge is an act of emotion. The death penalty is an act of justice.

                  1. But serious man said justice for the victims. Even if execution is in some way justice for the murderer, it is not so for the victims.

                3. How does killing someone get justice? Does it bring back dead people? Are you a superstitious person who believes in human sacrifice? I’m curious.

                  Murder is fundamentally about theft: you’ve rob a person of their life, a spouse of their spouse, children of their father/mother, a parent of their child.

                  Those are the people who deserve justice.

                  If you don’t think the deceased deserves justice than why bother punishing any killer if we can reasonably be sure that he/she won’t harm anyone else? If Ron Thomas murdered the two cops who killed his son do you think he’s a danger to society? He had a very specific motive for killing that is limiting.

                4. There is no fucking moral impetus to kill people for revenge…

                  Assertions are almost like arguments, except for the part with a conclusion that follows from a premise.

              2. Killing someone is vengeance not justice.

            2. Epi, please put your self-righteous hard-on back in your pants.

              I don’t have a problem with the death penalty even though I know that the state makes mistakes and railroads people. Because I’m obviously bloodthirsty and depraved.

              1. Simply put, you are. Sorry if I rained on your death boner parade; I realize that ethical and moral consistency is for mewling pussies like myself and not for massive internet TUFF GAIS like yourself who want people put down.

                Now…I don’t see you putting these people down. Why haven’t you volunteered yet? It’s the right thing to do, right? For JUSTICE? Why aren’t you pressing the button?

                1. You must be close to having a giant orgasm of self-righteous self-congratulation by now, eh?

                  1. Keep squirming and spinning, dude. Sorry if I pointed out that you are morally inconsistent. It gives me no pleasure, I can assure you, as I thought you were better than that.

                    1. Keep squirming and spinning, dude. Sorry if I pointed out that you are morally inconsistent. It gives me no pleasure, I can assure you, as I thought you were better than that.

                      Are you addressing me? Where did I squirm or spin you bombastic self-righteous cunt? Do you think I give a fuck about your opinion of me?

                    2. Do you think I give a fuck about your opinion of me?

                      You keep responding to him, so… yeah.

                    3. You keep responding to him, so… yeah.

                      By that logic, everyone who ever responded to Shriek, Tony or Mary did so because they wanted to impress them.

                    4. By that logic, everyone who ever responded to Shriek, Tony or Mary did so because they wanted to impress them.

                      The point of comments is to influence. I’m replying to you because I wish to influence you, just as you wish to influence Epi and me. We all seem to care about each other’s opinions to some small degree.

                    5. It doesn’t really matter whether you care about my opinion of you; you have to live with yourself. Enjoy. If I were an internally inconsistent bloodthirsty TUFF GAI who got defensive when my internal inconsistencies were pointed out, I’d get angry too. Maybe you could go beat your wife or kill someone who you just know deserves JUSTICE. That might make you feel better.

                      Oh wait, you would never push the button or pull the lever–you leave that to someone else.

                    6. Seriously Epi, don’t you ever overdose on your own self-righteous bombastic piety?

                      And what’s with the ALL CAPS stuff, are you turning into Dunphy?

                    7. Maybe you could go beat your wife or kill someone who you just know deserves JUSTICE. That might make you feel better.

                      Lol. Do you have any idea what a fucking joke you sound like? “Why don’t you go beat yer wife! HURRRRRRRRR DURRRRRRRRRRR”. The internal consistency of grade school children is not enviable, but congrats on possessing it.

            3. Similarly, unless Detroit can ensure that none of its vehicles will ever cause the death of an innocent person, then you are stating unequivocally that you don’t care, and that your bloodthirstiness is more important than making sure that the auto industry never causes the death of an innocent person. (I don’t use the emotionally charged word “murder,” not simply because it’s emotionally charged, but because it ignores the fact that such material elements as mens rea are absent when the state mistakenly executes an innocent convict.)

              1. Really? That’s the comparison you’re making?

                I understand the emotion behind the death penalty. I think there are definitely people who deserve to die. However, with maybe a few very rare exceptions, there simply isn’t a need for it that justifies the risk of killing an innocent person. Come up with shitty analogies all you want, but you can’t escape that reality.

              2. Here’s the bottom line: The State shouldn’t have the power to kill you, not because that they *might* make a mistake, but because it already has. 312 is the latest count by The Innocence Project.

                The State shouldn’t have this power, simply put, because it can’t wield it in any way except incompetently. If you add cops into the mix, it’s corrupt *and* incompetent.

          2. I think it should be reserved for cops and other agents of the state who abuse their power.

            1. And if I get out of fantasy world, I think it should not be used at all.

      2. He raped and murdered a pregnant woman and attempted to frame his own brother in law for it.

        Given everything we know about forensic analysis abuse, mental health issues and LEOs pressing for admissions of guilt, can you be certain he did those things?

        Also juries are made up of people. Can you trust random strangers to decide whether a man should be put to death? What if most of them are idiots?

        1. Given everything we know about forensic analysis abuse, mental health issues and LEOs pressing for admissions of guilt, can you be certain he did those things?

          Those are arguments against the entire justice system itself, not just the death penalty.

    3. Sometimes fellow inmate fellows have to be murdered.

  4. Dennis McGuire raped, sodomized, and murdered a pregnant 22-year-old girl. This might not be a very libertarian thing to say, but if they wanted to draw and quarter him, I’d be down with it.

    Just what was so wrong with the electric chair? Or even the noose? After all, it was good enough for Julius Streicher.

    1. Electric chair and hanging were theoretically quick deaths, but in practice there’s a lot that could go wrong to make the victim suffer.

      If the chair doesn’t kill you right away it’s going to hurt and hanging is a very scientific method of killing because you the hangman needs to measure the person’s height and weight to determine what amount of rope is needed to break their neck rather than strange or decapitate them.

    2. What do you mean, not very libertarian? I thought libertarians were opposed to the *initiation* of violence, and that it was anarchists, not libertarians, who were opposed to the use of defensive or punitive violence (which by the way includes imprisonment as much as capital punishment).

      1. You think anarchists are against the use of defensive violence?

        You might want to go slink away and learn some shit before commenting and looking utterly uniformed.

    3. Dennis McGuire raped, sodomized, and murdered a pregnant 22-year-old girl.

      Are you certain he did that? How can you be if you weren’t in the room when it happened. Forensic analysts lie. Police pressure people into false admissions of guilt. Every single case is laden with a remote, but reasonable doubt simply for these reasons.

      1. ^^This^^

        When you can come back with incontrovertible evidence as to his guilt, then we can talk.

        Of course, if you do, we can always presume the guy was a cop and should instead get a parade.

      2. This invalidates ANY form of punishment not corroborated by literally every single member of society by first-hand eyewitness. If that becomes your standard of evidence, you may be fairly certain that your argument, if not your entire philosophy, has jumped the proverbial shark.

    4. If some relative of the woman who was so brutalized and murdered killed the guy, I’d be inclined to go easy on him. But the cold blooded killing of someone who is no longer in a position to be a threat to people is a whole different thing.

  5. This was debated here yesterday, but wouldn’t a much more efficient method of execution be inert gas asphyxiation?

    Nitrogen gas would cause a build up of CO2 in the blood so that the victim would not suffocate but rather simply fall asleep and die. Quick, quiet, and painless.

    1. They’d have to build new execution chambers for it.

      1. Yeah. What’s your point?

      2. Argon is heavier than air. Just lay him down in a 3 ft deep tub and pump the stuff in. It’s relatively cheap too. They use it to put down birds in the poultry industry.

        Wait, I’m against the death penalty. Forget what I just said.

    2. There are a lot of ways to kill someone painlessly. The government inexplicably chooses none of those ways.

      1. Captive bolt pistol.

      2. “Could you stand still, please, sir?”

    3. That doesn’t cost enough, Serious. Palms need to be greased. Death is a lonely business, but a profitable one.

      1. That’s very true.

      2. Death sells, but who’s buying?

        1. You know, why am I not surprised that instead of getting my Ray Bradbury reference, you went with Megadeth instead?

          What’s the matter, steroids make you deaf? The war’s over, get new parts for your head.

          1. Nobody’s laughing. You know why? Because there’s nothing funny about a dickless moron with a battery up his ass.

    4. The most humane way to execute someone is to put them in a ironworks foundry and pour in the molten iron. Instant vaporization. No body or brain to feel pain.

      1. an ironworks foundry crucible

      2. Or drop a 16 ton weight on their head. If your brain is crushed in a fraction of a second, I doubt you’re feeling much.

    5. This has been proposed since the early 1990’s, actually. National Review published an article “Killing with kindness ? capital punishment by nitrogen asphyxiation” in 1995 that discussed it as a serious proposal. In the states that used the gas chamber, the same facilities could even be used.

  6. I still think public hanging is the way to go. Make it a mandatory field trip for elementary school children.

    1. Or just hang ’em on school grounds

    2. Or public firing quads.

      I think if there are going to be executions, they should be public and a gruesome as possible. That way people who support it can see what it is that they are really supporting. Making execution all clinical makes it easier to pretend that it is something other than cold blooded killing.

      1. And what if that increased support, as it might?

        1. If it does, it does. I tend to doubt it would. Most people these days don’t even like to think about where the meat they eat comes from.

          1. Go spend some time in Saudi

      2. Agreed, so long as the same public gets to watch a re-enactment of the crime for which the perpetrator was sentenced.

  7. Getting rid of Dennis McGuire: Good Idea, Poor Execution.

    1. Boo. I want more effort in our puns.

      1. It wasn’t a pun, it was that other thing…a palindrome.

        1. Seriously?

          Tell me that’s a quote/reference and not just you.

          1. I knew a girl who told me she realized one day that men are not witty. Everything we say that sounds clever is actually a movie reference. Or in this case, Monty Python.

            1. To be fair, even with quotes and references, there is some art to picking the right one for the moment.

              1. I am Jack’s inflamed sense of rejection.

              2. Well, I’ve been saving “good idea/poor execution” since I heard it in reference to the similarly botched execution of John Wayne Gacy back in Illinois.

                1. A travesty if ever there was one. After all, nobody on that jury personally watched Gacy commit a single crime. The entire case could have been a complete fabrication!

                  /some guy

  8. I still have a very hard time believing this was “botched” if the dude was knocked out on dilaudid. I don’t know that it should be reported so uncritically.

  9. If the state must kill a criminal, why not use the same method the criminal used on the victim.

    1. And put the executioner on Social Security Disability for life from the PTSD?

      1. There are plenty of people who would be over-joyed at the chance to anally rape Dennis McGuire and then slit his throat.

        1. Projecting, Sug?

          1. Not at all. Just trying to find work for all those unemployed psychopaths that our highly-regulated economy has displaced.

    2. Here’s an idea, just let the people on death row all kill each other. You could make it a live PPV TV event.
      Even better, put them all in a big stadium with a bunch of hungry lions and other dangerous beasts.

  10. YES THEY DESERVED TO DIE AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL.

    1. From the film Some Time to Kill?

      And I know it wasn’t his line, but I just need to say that Matthew McConaughey is one shitty actor.

  11. I’m against the death penalty because no one is perfect, two wrongs don’t make a right, mistakes happen, reality is unknowable, and certainty is an illusion. Of this I am certain.

    1. I’m against the death penalty imprisonment because no one is perfect, two wrongs don’t make a right, mistakes happen, reality is unknowable, and certainty is an illusion.

      1. Thanks for your interest, but I was right the first time. Absent human omniscience, the only ethical thing to do is let all criminals go. Who are we to judge them?

        1. OK, an anarchist. Fair enough.

  12. Guillotine is the way to go if you’re going to do it. There should at the very least be evidentiary requirements to even seek the death penalty. Life with no parole would still be available if you couldn’t meet the requirements. If you can meet them then the appeals process should then be streamlined assuming the requirements are tight enough to for all practicle purposes ensure guilt by extreme evidence. Not sure what a complete list would look like but you could start with video, multiple unrelated witnesses, DNA that not only proved they were there but that they committed the crime, etc. As mentioned before it should be reserved for the most heinous crimes.

    1. I would also be fine if they just did away with it.

  13. There is no rational justification for the death penalty.

    1. No dipshit, there is rational justification, but not moral justification. You can’t even be right when you’re right.

      1. “there is rational justification, but not moral justification”

        You say that as if morality (ethics) and rationality (reason) are mutually exclusive. They are not. Ethics derives from reason. Without reason, there can be no morality. That’s why humans have ethics and all other animals do not. Our rationality (thus our morality) is what makes us unique.

        1. You say that as if morality (ethics) and rationality (reason) are mutually exclusive.

          Or as if there were a unified system of morality (ethics).

    2. If the NM convict had been executed in a reasonably speedy fashion, two other people would be alive. Does that count as a rational basis?

      1. Utilitarianism only works for everything else!

        /Tony

  14. Regular, extra crispy, and now marinated.

  15. Let’s return to either execution by firing squad, electric chair or hanging. Guillotine would be quick also. All of which have been used so it will not be cruel AND unusual. Wonder how long his victim suffered? Although I don’t consider lethal injection suffering. More like getting a general anesthetic and not waking up.

  16. Botched execution!!
    Is the guy still alive?
    When we hear the monster may have suffered, we secretly squeal with delight inside.

    Q;You know why executions are no longer public? A; Because they would be more popular than the NFL!!

  17. These comments. A gaggle of libertarians deciding which method should be used by the state to murder criminals and or incarcerating them. smh

    http://thatswaytoomuch.info/JD…..rships.htm

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