Witness to Innocence issued this statement on its Facebook page this morning, in a flurry of social media “action” by other anti-death penalty activist groups at the same hour as attorneys and family members of executed rapist and murderer Dennis McGuire spoke at a press conference:
Official statement by ally Kevin Werner, Ex. Dir. of Ohioans to Stop Executions: “An immediate moratorium on executions is the only solution, short of repeal, to address these continuing issues with executions. The suffocation execution of Dennis McGuire shines the spotlight on the unworkable nature of the problems Ohio has in the death house. The experiment has failed and that is plainly obvious. For millions of Ohioans, it’s not about how we kill our prisoners; it’s that we kill them at all. The Ohio Supreme Court’s Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s #deathpenalty refused to make recommendations on execution procedures and now we know why. This scheme is not working and it should stop.”
Twitter accounts for Werner’s group, along with the ACLU of Ohio, Amnesty International and others are directing people to an online petition asking Governor John Kasich to stop executions altogether:
In light of the suffocation execution of Dennis McGuire on January 16th, 2014, I join with Ohioans to Stop Executions and millions of Ohioans who oppose the death penalty in urging Governor Kasich to issue an immediate moratorium on all executions.
The petition makes plain their goal: not “humane” executions, but NO executions. It’s sickening that these groups choose to push their agenda without a thought about the pain and suffering of victim Joy Stewart’s family.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio criticized the execution:
“Unfortunately, Ohio continues to lead the way in finding new ways to put people to death,” said Mike Brickner, the organization’s director of communications and public policy. “With each new execution, we continue to run from the fact that this is a fundamentally broken system.”
The ACLU, of course, fails to tell you why Ohio had to find “new ways to put people to death”. (emphasis mine):
Columbus Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson said that the whole execution process took 24 minutes, and that McGuire appeared to be gasping for air for 10 to 13 minutes.
“He gasped deeply. It was kind of a rattling, guttural sound. There was kind of a snorting through his nose. A couple of times, he definitely appeared to be choking,” WDTN quoted Johnson as saying….
…[L]ike many states, Ohio has been forced to find new drug protocols after European-based manufacturers banned U.S. prisons from using their drugs in executions — among them, Danish-based Lundbeck, which manufactures pentobarbital….
But McGuire’s gasping was no surprise. The killer’s supporters and legal team have been building a campaign since the beginning of December:
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio’s untried execution method, the first of its kind in the nation, will cause the condemned killer of a pregnant woman “agony and terror” as he struggles to breathe, attorneys trying to stop the execution argued in federal court.
The two-drug combination won’t sedate death row inmate Dennis McGuire properly, and he will experience a suffocation-like syndrome known as air hunger, the attorneys said in filings Monday and Tuesday.
The drugs were chosen because of a shortage of other lethal injection drugs.
“McGuire will experience the agony and terror of air hunger as he struggles to breathe for five minutes after defendants intravenously inject him with the execution drugs,” the inmate’s attorneys said in a Monday court filing.
The dose planned for McGuire isn’t enough to properly sedate him, meaning he’ll experience “the horrifying sensation” of being unable to breathe, Harvard anesthesiology professor David Waisel said in a Tuesday filing in support of the inmate.
Who’s this “innocent” that these activists were trying to save from pain and suffering?
In its ruling, the [Ohio state parole] board criticized McGuire’s attempts over the years to evade responsibility, and said a recent letter he sent Gov. John Kasich describing the slaying as a lovers’ quarrel gone wrong was “disingenuous.” It also questioned his claims of childhood abuse and instead focused on the brutality of Joy Stewart’s stabbing death….
Prosecutors in Preble County say a death sentence is appropriate for such a shocking crime. Stewart, 22, was newly married and about 30 weeks pregnant when she was killed.
“One can scarcely conceive of a sequence of crimes more shocking to the conscience or to moral sensibilities than the senseless kidnapping and rape of a young, pregnant woman followed by her murder,” prosecutors said in their filing with the board….
McGuire, 53, took responsibility for the killing in a handwritten letter he sent [Ohio Governor John] Kasich earlier this month.
“Sir, I am sorry for what I have done to the Stewart family and Joy herself,” McGuire wrote….
DNA tests over the years have established McGuire as the killer.
His attorneys say a plea bargain that was offered to McGuire but rejected should be taken into consideration, since it shows the state at one time didn’t believe a death sentence was necessary.
Prosecutors say McGuire’s decision not to accept that offer is part of his refusal to accept responsibility for the crime.
Related: Donald Douglas at American Power Blog: Ohio Killer Executed with New Drug Cocktail, Dude Gasps While Dying, Leftists Freak Out
Thanks for the linkage, Daley Gator!