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Daughter: Ohio execution most awful moment of life

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins & Kantele Franko

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:07 a.m. HST, Jan 17, 2014

DAYTON, Ohio » The execution of an Ohio inmate who gasped and took an unusually long time to die was "torture," the man's daughter said today in announcing plans to file a lawsuit over her father's death.

McGuire's daughter, Amber McGuire, referred to the "agony and terror" of watching her father die on Thursday — using the same words the condemned man's attorneys used in trying to stop his execution using a previously untried method of lethal injection.

"It was the most awful moment in my life to witness my dad's execution," she said in a statement ahead of the news conference. "I can't think of any other way to describe it than torture."

The execution violated McGuire's constitutional right not to be treated or punished in a cruel or unusual way, said defense attorney Jon Paul Rion, representing McGuire's adult children.

McGuire's attorney Allen Bohnert called the convicted killer's death "a failed, agonizing experiment" and added: "The people of the state of Ohio should be appalled at what was done here today in their names."

It's almost certain lawyers will use McGuire's execution to challenge Ohio's plans to put a condemned Cleveland-area killer to death next month.

McGuire's lawyers had attempted last week to block his execution, arguing that the untried method could lead to a medical phenomenon known as "air hunger" and could cause him to suffer "agony and terror" while struggling to catch his breath.

A few minutes before McGuire was put to death, Ohio prison director Gary Mohr said he believed the state's planning would produce "a humane, dignified execution" consistent with the law.

McGuire, 53, made loud snorting noises during one of the longest executions since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999. Nearly 25 minutes passed between the time the lethal drugs began flowing and McGuire was pronounced dead at 10:53 a.m.

Executions under the old method were typically much shorter and did not cause the kind of sounds McGuire made.

Ohio prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith had no comment on how the execution went but said a review will be conducted as usual.

Prison officials gave intravenous doses of two drugs, the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone, to put McGuire to death for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of a pregnant newlywed, Joy Stewart.

The method was adopted after supplies of a previously used drug dried up because the manufacturer declared it off limits for capital punishment.

McGuire's attorney called on Republican Gov. John Kasich to impose a moratorium on future executions, as did a state death penalty opponent group.

The move will likely echo across the country as other states contemplate new drug methods, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment.

"Judges will now realize that the warnings being raised about these untried procedures are not just false alarms," he said in an email. "States will now have more of a burden to show that they are using a well thought out best practice. "

What was particularly unusual Thursday was the five minutes or so that McGuire lay motionless on the gurney after the drugs began flowing, followed by a sudden snort and then more than 10 minutes of irregular breathing and gasping. Normally, movement comes at the beginning and is followed by inactivity.

"Oh, my God," his daughter, Amber McGuire, said as she watched his final moments.

In pressing for the execution to go ahead, state Assistant Attorney General Thomas Madden had argued that while the U.S. Constitution bans cruel and unusual punishment, "you're not entitled to a pain-free execution."

U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost sided with the state. But at the request of McGuire's lawyers, he ordered officials to photograph and preserve the drug vials, packaging and syringes.

McGuire, strapped to a gurney in the death chamber, thanked Stewart's family members, who witnessed the execution, for their "kind words" in a letter he apparently received from them.

"I'm going to heaven. I'll see you there when you come," he said.

Stewart's slaying went unsolved for 10 months until McGuire, jailed on an unrelated assault and hoping to improve his legal situation, told investigators he had information about the death. His attempts to pin the crime on his brother-in-law quickly unraveled, and he was accused of the killing.

More than a decade later, DNA evidence confirmed McGuire's guilt, and he acknowledged his responsibility in a letter to Kasich last month.

The death row inmate's lawyers argued McGuire was mentally, physically and sexually abused as a child and had impaired brain function that made him prone to act impulsively.

"We have forgiven him, but that does not negate the need for him to pay for his actions," Stewart's family said in a statement after the execution.

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GooglyMoogly wrote:
I hate to be the one to break it to her, but no matter the method, watching her father die was probably going to be the worst moment of her life.
on January 17,2014 | 04:55AM
miss_laulau wrote:
Well, maybe now she knows how the pregnant victim felt when her father was raping and killing the victim and her unborn child.
on January 17,2014 | 05:03AM
eoe wrote:
I'm sorry you don't see the difference. Since you seem not to care, how about we bring back drawing and quartering in the public square?
on January 17,2014 | 05:12AM
Macadamiamac wrote:
Excellent idea! Since the threat of incarceration seems not to deter today's criminals, in capital cases, public executions might be tried.
on January 17,2014 | 06:01AM
eoe wrote:
Sounds good, I want you to march down to the capital and say that you want to start torturing people to death and see how much support you get. Put your name on it.
on January 17,2014 | 06:20AM
sailfish1 wrote:
eoe - it was your idea. I would have recommended a bullet to the head - why waste time and money on a "barbaric" rapist and murderer?
on January 17,2014 | 06:37AM
RaiderNation wrote:
I think you'd be surprised at the outcome. People love eye for an eye. You wouldn't be taking this view if it were your daughter, wife, or mother who had to suffer at the hands of this piece of you know what.
on January 17,2014 | 10:41AM
mokebla wrote:
Old fashion way, out of site out of mind. What a man sow so shall he reaps. My heart goes out to the Stewart's family that it took so many years and taxpayers money to keep this killer alive. As for his daughter, welcome to realty.
on January 17,2014 | 11:56AM
soundofreason wrote:
And there's a reason it was public. So, the public would be deterred from such crimes by the horror of it all.. I'm not much for the drawn and quartering though. Messy. Then you gotta pay some govt employee to clean it all up.
on January 17,2014 | 06:39AM
ISCREAM wrote:
Ah, you must be our token Progressive-Socialist-Democrat....
on January 17,2014 | 06:45AM
eoe wrote:
And you must be our token fundamentalist.
on January 17,2014 | 06:52AM
false wrote:
Good idea. Better yet is a guillotine execution as in the olden times. Quick and less painful.
on January 17,2014 | 07:53AM
mokebla wrote:
on January 17,2014 | 11:56AM
PCWarrior wrote:
I'd be fine with blindfolding the guy and shooting him like the old days. Or hang him. Imagine the torture of the victim's family before worrying about this rapist and murderer.
on January 17,2014 | 09:20AM
honokai wrote:
She was 8 months pregnant. That is a double murder. I would think that finding out that your father is rapist-murderer-baby-killer would be worse than watching him die (when you elected to attend).
on January 17,2014 | 05:17AM
soundofreason wrote:
on January 17,2014 | 06:47AM
lwandcah wrote:
What does knowing what the victim felt have anything to do with what she went through? I do not mean in anyway to even pretend to know what the victim and her family went throuh, but she had absolutely nothing to do with what her father did. He was still her father, and she has every right to be struggling with his execution regardless of whether or not it was done humanely.
on January 17,2014 | 06:26AM
HOSSANA wrote:
on January 17,2014 | 06:59AM
ryan02 wrote:
Her father committed a rape-double murder in a jurisdiction that has the penalty for rape-double murders. Her having to endure his execution is HIS DOING. It is a direct result of HIS ACTIONS. If the daughter is a victim too, then she is a victim of her father's own action -- which led to his execution in the first place. She should place the blame on him. Add her name to the list of his other victims.
on January 17,2014 | 08:37AM
mokebla wrote:
Iwancah, you need to get a life. There's a right and a wrong and he made his choice, if I had a father, brother, son or grandson that did this I would tell them you made your choice now live with it. It's call tuff love.
on January 17,2014 | 12:03PM
soundofreason wrote:
You beat me to it. If there was a way to resuscitate him I'd like to see him die twice. Once just leveled the playing field from his actions, TWICE would invoke a the penalty phase. And after all, he did take TWO lives.
on January 17,2014 | 06:34AM
eoe wrote:
You should move to Saudi, you would fit right in.
on January 17,2014 | 06:42AM
soundofreason wrote:
Me and Charles Bronson, my friend. Me and Charles Bronson.
on January 17,2014 | 06:48AM
Konawayne wrote:
"Assistant Attorney General Thomas Madden had argued that while the U.S. Constitution bans cruel and unusual punishment, "you're not entitled to a pain-free execution." " He seems to suffers from that same lack of compassion so often seen in this world.
on January 17,2014 | 05:09AM
BigBoyChan wrote:
The guy raped and stabbed to death an eight month pregnant newlywed. Then he blamed his brother-in-law for it. I would have made the execution slower, and more painful. Maybe a few days would have been more appropriate than 15 minutes.
on January 17,2014 | 05:13AM
ryan02 wrote:
Hmm . . . I wonder what the most awful moment was of Joy Stewart's life? Probably being raped and stabbed to death, and the killing her unborn baby too. And maybe McGuire would have been happy to see his brother-in-law die in his place? Because he tried to pin the killings on him. Sorry, but I got no compassion to spare for this person. The only thing I would agree with is 25 minutes is too long to kill him. They should have just used a guillotine and removed this despicable person from the earth 25 minutes earlier.
on January 17,2014 | 05:40AM
gmkhawaii wrote:
I hope the dad SUFFERED!, I hope he was able to EXPERIENCE pain and suffering! I also hope that she is able to move on with her life and someday realize that he deserved what he got. Maybe he was abused as a child, that still doesn't give him ( or anyone) the right and excuse to abuse and kill another person. I'm glad that the state he lived in has the DEATH PENALTY !, I would welcome the DEATH PENALTY to all 50 states !!!!
on January 17,2014 | 05:53AM
AlexandriaB wrote:
Agree, agree, agree!
on January 17,2014 | 05:58AM
eoe wrote:
Of course you would welcome it. You are a a barbaric person.
on January 17,2014 | 06:21AM
sailfish1 wrote:
eoe - you are an I*d_i o#t.
on January 17,2014 | 06:35AM
ISCREAM wrote:
How self righteous you are...no compassion for the victim.
on January 17,2014 | 06:44AM
eoe wrote:
The victim is dead whether we execute this dirtbag or not.
on January 17,2014 | 06:54AM
cojef wrote:
The victim happens to be the daughter in this situation and she is the living and breathing that witnessed her father's gagging and gasps during his execution. That is very cruel and inhumane. Yes, "I know she chose to witness the execution, but the fact remains, there must me a humane way to put him out of his misery. What the prisoner did to his victim(s) is not issue at hand. That issue of what he did has been adjudicated and sentence rendered. The issue that is being discussed is whether the punishment and how it was carried out is humane. Cannot blame the daughter for her determination to sue. Place yourselves in her shoes., not subjectively, but in reality.
on January 17,2014 | 07:47AM
ryan02 wrote:
The daughter is just another one of her FATHER's victims. He intentionally chose to commit a rape-murder in a jurisdiction that has the death penalty for rape-murder. His execution was a natural outcome of his own actions (with the small glitch of him trying to get his brother-in-law executed in his place, of course). If she's mad at anyone, it should be her own father.
on January 17,2014 | 08:43AM
ryan02 wrote:
The world is a better place without him. So why NOT execute?
on January 17,2014 | 08:31AM
DaMenace168 wrote:
Maybe until you or someone you know loses someone to rape/murder will you understand what it's like to be in the victim's shoes... Unfortunately in our society, criminals have MORE rights than the victims! Crime PAYS - you get free room, board, medical and even an education while in prison. What will deter people from NOT committing a crime - their conscience or common sense?!?! No, Capital Punishment! If there's a severe consequence for a crime, maybe others will think twice. Good example - look at all the lives that could've been saved if we had gun control... Does the right to own a gun outweigh the right of others to live?!?!
on January 17,2014 | 06:49AM
soundofreason wrote:
A toast to the great state of Ohio!!
on January 17,2014 | 06:49AM
HanabataDays wrote:
When the drug manufacturer removes a drug from the market because it's being used for lethal injections... when it's harder and harder for prison officials to find an MD who wants anything to do with lethal injections... someone's trying to tell us something.
on January 17,2014 | 05:58AM
eoe wrote:
The American Taliban (Republicans) love executions, just like the rest of their Muslim good book fearing brethren. Need proof? Look at all the other awesome countries who use the death penalty: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Gambia, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen. 12 of the 17 other countries killing their citizens are Muslim. And I see some exhortations above to have public torture executions. Only state in the entire world that does that is Saudi Arabia.
on January 17,2014 | 06:41AM
markat wrote:
But what are the crime rates like in these countries and do they have people with multiple felony convictions walking around freely looking for their next victim?
on January 17,2014 | 07:03AM
Winston wrote:
Your commentary today exposes two of the core principles of current American liberal/progressive political thought: 1. No one should be held responsible or suffer the consequences for the pain and destruction they cause. 2. Those who disagree with our views are evil. 3. Human life is of paramount value, unless it creates a personal inconvenience (explaining progressive glee at the one million plus babys euthanized annually).
on January 17,2014 | 07:12AM
eoe wrote:
First, you said two things then listed three I guess basic math is not your forte. Second, this is not an "American" concept death penalty is outlawed in all normal modern countries. Third: 1. Life in prison, no parole. 2. Yes advocating for the murder of another living human is evil. 3. My views are consistent across the spectrum, are yours? In other words if you believe in the sanctity of life and the possibility of redemption through the acceptance of Jesus Christ then in addition to opposing abortion you must oppose war and death penalty, just like the church does in 99.999% of all cases?
on January 17,2014 | 07:21AM
Winston wrote:
"Normal" modern countries? Those must be the ones just a bit further down the road to the collapse of western civilization than us. Europe, for example, due to demographics alone, is going to disappear like a popping soap bubble. This is what happens when civilizations sicken and die (or in this case commit suicide), soaked in self absorption and detached from reality. That's where American progressives are now, increasingly detached from reality.

Life in prison: a strange balance of justice. The young woman and her baby gets terror, pain, and oblivion and the beast who murdered her gets three hots, a cot, medical care, and TV for life.

Your definition of evil is subjective and blind. Hitler, Pol Pot, just war, self-defense, wholesale, reflexive support for abortion? That's evil.

Strawman: You dream up some fevered progressive straw man of a benighted religious conservative's view. It's a caricature more representative of your own prejudice than my particular views.

Can't see the difference between dissecting a living innocent child and executing a vile, adult sociopath? I think you have a problem.

on January 17,2014 | 08:38AM
ryan02 wrote:
I don't know about Winston, but I'm consistent. I support pro-choice laws AND the death penalty. This country sacrifices lives all the time, for various reasons. Some even as ridiculous as saving 10 minutes off a commute (studies show that thousands of lives, including innocent children, could be saved every year by lowering the speed limits). Abortion? That's a sacrifice we make to allow women freedom to control their own bodies? Death penalty? Those lives are sacrificed to rid the system of the worst killers (who, even in prison, are a threat to other inmates and guards), as well as send a message, and reduce society's desire to take the laws into their hands, by letting people feel justice has been done. Of course, unlike abortions, at least the murderers get a full trial first, appeal rights, etc.
on January 17,2014 | 08:49AM
RaiderNation wrote:
When you decide to kill someone, you don't get a chance at redemption. And how did I know you'd bring up Jesus Christ. Hmmm...maybe right after you admonished Muslims. Way to show your true colors eoe.
on January 17,2014 | 10:48AM
sailfish1 wrote:
It seems that this is a good way to execute criminals Who said that "punishment should fit the crime".
on January 17,2014 | 06:32AM
eoe wrote:
Who said that "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
on January 17,2014 | 06:59AM
ryan02 wrote:
The Bible has no place in our laws.
on January 17,2014 | 08:27AM
gmkhawaii wrote:
not really barbaric, no I don't agree, what do you suggest? jail?, rehab?, treatment? would you have that man live in your house so he can be treated? next door to you? ...... NO you WOULDN'T !!! SO to people that commit crimes of this nature DESERVE to DIE........
on January 17,2014 | 06:33AM
gmkhawaii wrote:
....EOE.....are you a tree-hugger too?
on January 17,2014 | 06:38AM
ISCREAM wrote:
The most awful moment in life should have been the one where he chose to rape and murder a young pregnant woman....no sympathy from me.
on January 17,2014 | 06:41AM
HOSSANA wrote:
on January 17,2014 | 06:57AM
eoe wrote:
An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind
on January 17,2014 | 07:23AM
DaMenace168 wrote:
But the SMART ones will learn from the mistake of others... Hence, the population as a whole moving forward will NOT be blind! Hopefully, Darwin's theory will holds true!
on January 17,2014 | 08:48AM
ryan02 wrote:
There are 7 billion people in the world. I don't see how ridding the world of this particular piece of filth is going to bring about the downfall of the human species.
on January 17,2014 | 09:00AM
Poplm wrote:
Maybe with help from anti capital punishment lawyers her worst day could be a pay day.
on January 17,2014 | 07:12AM
cojef wrote:
Hope she wins! See my post above in response to: eoe above.
on January 17,2014 | 07:50AM
ryan02 wrote:
She should sue her father (or his estate, I guess). His actions led to his execution, so he's the one ultimately responsible for any pain she may have suffered.
on January 17,2014 | 09:02AM
nitpikker wrote:
why all this sympathy for the CRIMINAL???
on January 17,2014 | 07:27AM
ryan02 wrote:
Because, by default, they have more time to cry to the public about inhumane treatment, please forgive me, I found Jesus, I deserve a second chance, blah, blah. You don't get to hear from the victim because, conveniently for the murderer, the victim is dead and has no voice.
on January 17,2014 | 08:23AM
nitpikker wrote:
i know. one question...did he show his victim any mercy?? no? why should he expect any??
on January 17,2014 | 09:11AM
hikine wrote:
Humane way to die? It was inhumane when he killed people!
on January 17,2014 | 08:18AM
false wrote:
May you someday feel the stewart families pain eoe...
on January 17,2014 | 08:35AM
false wrote:
Interested in reading your post then...
on January 17,2014 | 08:36AM
false wrote:
Oh, and have a great day in your disneyland world...
on January 17,2014 | 08:38AM
eoe wrote:
Thanks, I will. My world is not as scary apparently as your fox-fueled fear fest.
on January 17,2014 | 09:42AM
konag43 wrote:
i have no simpathy for somebody who did what he did. he got what he deserved for the crime he commited. why should the people of that state be appauled for him paying the penalty that he deserved and she is stupid for sitting there to watch her father being execuded. where is her simpathy for the person that her father violated and murdered. hey eoe i want to see what happends if something similuar happends to you and how you will feel at that time. we should have more executions maybe that will scare more criminals to stop doing the crimes that they do
on January 17,2014 | 10:13AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
What he did to his murder victim-- raping and fatally stabbing a pregnant newlywed-- was far worse.
on January 17,2014 | 03:26PM
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