"Local Anesthesiologist On Ohio Lethal Injection Controversy," at WGBH-TV News. There is video at the link.
It’s not up for debate in Massachusetts, since the death penalty was declared unconstitutional in 1982, but discussions about capital punishment are taking place across the nation.
Central to that dialogue is the execution of Dennis McGuire in Ohio. The convicted murderer was the first American inmate put to death using a new combination of lethal drugs. His family is now suing the state, calling the effects of the injection “cruel and unusual.”
Dr. David Waisel is an anesthesiologist at Boston Children's Hospital and served as an expert witness on lethal injection in the Dennis McGuire case.
"Family of executed Ohio inmate file lawsuit to ban repeat of lethal injection," is AP coverage, via the Guardian.
The prolonged execution of an inmate in Ohio during which he repeatedly gasped and snorted amounted to cruel and unusual punishment which should not be allowed to happen again, the inmate's family said in a federal lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed late on Friday, also alleges the drug maker that produced the medications used in the lethal injection illegally allowed them to be used for an execution and should be prohibited from making them available for capital punishment.
Dennis McGuire "repeated cycles of snorting, gurgling and arching his back, appearing to writhe in pain," the lawsuit said. "It looked and sounded as though he was suffocating."
McGuire's execution lasted 26 minutes, the longest since the state resumed putting inmates to death in 1999, according to an Associated Press analysis of all 53 execution logs maintained by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
The Colubmus Dispatch reports, "Lawsuit follows troubled lethal injection," by Alan Johnson.
A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of the children of Dennis McGuire argues that his execution using two drugs never intended to kill people violated his constitutional rights — and U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules.
The suit, filed yesterday on behalf of Amber and Dennis McGuire, goes after not only state prison officials and the execution team, but also Hospira Inc., the Chicago company that manufactured the drugs used in the lethal injection given to McGuire on Jan. 16. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus.
Dayton attorney Jon Paul Rion argues in the suit that McGuire’s execution was “cruel and unusual” punishment because of how he gasped, snorted, choked and clenched his fists during the process, which lasted about 25 minutes in total. The suit argues that that violated the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as his 14th Amendment right to due process.
“Executing a human being with a mixture of clinically untested drugs that cause the body to consciously writhe in pain for 25 minutes constitutes cruel and unusual punishment,” the suit states. “Killing a human being in the undignified manned described above, in the presence of their family and other witnesses, creates a spectacle and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.”
Earlier coverage of the Ohio botch begins at the link.