NY Times Joins The “We’re Concerned About Killer Suffering” Bandwagon

Since the day stone cold killer Dennis McGuire was exectuted, many media outlets have expressed their concern. Now the NY Times, essentially the “paper of record”, joins in

(NY Times)  As the lethal drugs flowed into his veins in the Ohio death chamber, Dennis B. McGuire at first “went unconscious” and his body was still, his daughter, Amber McGuire, said Friday.

But a few minutes later, she said, she was horrified to see her father struggling, his stomach heaving, a fist clenching.

“He started making all these horrible, horrible noises, and at that point, that’s when I covered my eyes and my ears,” said Ms. McGuire, who watched the execution on Thursday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, near Lucasville. “He was suffering.”

Mr. McGuire’s execution, conducted with a new and untested combination of drugs, took about 25 minutes from the time the drugs were started to the time death was declared. The process, several witnesses said, was accompanied by movement and gasping, snorting and choking sounds.

It has not been established whether Mr. McGuire was conscious of pain or whether the drugs that were used were responsible for his prolonged death. But at a time when the drugs once routinely used in executions are in short supply and states are scrambling to find new formulas, the execution is stirring intense debate about the obligations of the state toward those it kills.

Stirring debate, eh? The children of this stone cold killer plan on filing a lawsuit in federal court that this new cocktail of lethal drugs violates the Constitutional provision against cruel and unusual punishment. In fact, this was the wish of the killer. But, what about the victim?

But the family of Joy Stewart, the woman Mr. McGuire raped and murdered in 1989, said in a statement that whatever Mr. McGuire’s suffering, it paled in comparison with what Ms. Stewart went through at the hands of her killer. “He is being treated far more humanely than he treated her,” the statement said.

That’s all we get about Ms. Stewart. Thank you, NY Times, for being so detailed. Oh, wait

Joy Stewart, 22, of West Alexandria, a small town about 20 miles west of Dayton, was about 30-weeks pregnant when McGuire raped her, choked her, and slashed her throat so deeply it severed both her carotid artery and jugular vein. At the same point, her unborn child died, too, probably in the woods in the rural area of Preble County where her body was found the next day by two hikers.

“This has been a long time coming. Joy’s death was the hardest thing our family has had to endure,” the victim’s family said in a three-paragraph statement.

“There has been a lot of controversy regarding the drugs that are to be used in his execution, concern that he might feel terror; that he might suffer. As I recall the events preceding her death, forcing her from the car, attempting to rape her vaginally, sodomizing her, choking her, stabbing her, I know she suffered terror and pain. He is being treated far more humanely than he treated her.

Nice of the Times to shorten the quote about being treated far more humanely.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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9 Responses to “NY Times Joins The “We’re Concerned About Killer Suffering” Bandwagon”

  1. Conservative Beaner says:

    As soon as the McGuires file suit in court against Ohio, the Stewarts should file suit against the McGuires. The McGuires should not get one damn dime for the suffering Mr. McGuire put the Stewarts through.

  2. Blick says:

    The debate over the Death Penalty is always missing one huge fact: a murderer has already agreed that death is an appropriate penalty for some offense. Cold Blooded or hot blooded murder makes no difference – somewhere in a person’s thoughts, feelings, is the existing thought of death to an offender for them to be able to apply the death penalty to their victim.
    One may argue the investigative and judicial processes, the evidence, and intent in how a person is determined guilty of murder. That is entirely different than arguing against the penalty. The death penalty has already been established as acceptable to the murderer.

  3. Jeffery says:


    Seems like kind of a low bar to base our mores and laws on what murderers find acceptable.

    Since we’ve decided that it’s valuable for the State to kill citizens who have violated certain laws, the question becomes how to kill them. Do we kill them humanely, e.g., lethal infusions of unconsciousness-inducing drugs followed by lethal drugs or do we torture them before death? If we decide to not kill them humanely, how do we kill them? Why not beheadings? Guillotine? Burning? Boiling? Flaying? Crushing? Disemboweling?

    It seems to me that using a mixture of lethal drugs that doesn’t kill quickly is a poor imitation of torture, if that’s what we’re after. We can torture better than that!

  4. gitarcarver says:


    This was Ohio’s first use of this particular “cocktail,” and McGuire volunteered to be the test subject knowing the risks.

    However, the claim of “cruel and unusual punishment” has been made over the process itself where those against the death penalty have argued that all lethal injections are “cruel and unusual” punishments.

    In essence, what it seems you had in Ohio was a legal death sentence and a volunteer for a medical experiment. You might argue that the sentence was wrong, but shouldn’t McGurie have the right to volunteer for the experiment?

    What always amazes me about anti-death penalty people is that they are against the idea that through their own actions and willful decisions, a person can never forfeit their right to exist within society. They are the same people who support the idea that a child, who has done nothing to violate the norms and rules of society, can be killed in an abortion.

  5. Blick says:

    Jeffery, I agree with you the method of the Death Penalty should be humane. I have no argument there. My point is: A murderer has already applied the death penalty, therefore, they cannot argue against the death penalty.

  6. david7134 says:

    My only concern over the death penalty is that we have a corrupt legal system. But if the culprit is clearly guilty, then let him have it. Then the issue becomes the fact that it takes too long to kill them.

    I once say an interview with a sheriff in I believe North Carolina. He was notable at the time as he was black, unusual in the time period, and that he had two PHD’s (one in social studies). He was asked about the death penalty and whole heartedly supported it, only he wanted it quick. His point was that he knew of a woman that walked down the street in Harlem every day carrying a paper bag. Everyone knew the paper bag had 100’s of thousands of dollars in it. But no one touched the woman as they all knew they would die within 24 hours.

  7. Springy_Gumballs says:

    an automated slug firing mechanism is even cheaper than a cocktail.

    A lawsuit filed by the murderer’s family has no grounds, as the convicted murderer already agreed to it. he volunteered. Therefore, it can’t be considered inhumane.

    question I don’t think has been asked or answered….. why WAS this cocktail even untested? Couldn’t they test it on a rabbit, a rat, or a monkey first? WHy was a HUMAN the very first test?

    That might be something there…

  8. Kevin says:

    Good Lord, Teach. You are awful. I can’t believe how mean you are to this guy. I mean, sure, he’s murdered a few innocent people. But other than that he was a pretty nice guy. He was known to hold open doors for women. Always dressed crisply. He loved to visit art museums. And he was quick to do the dishes if you cooked for him.

    I think you’re holding his one flaw (that he occasionally murdered people) way too strongly against him.

  9. Karl says:

    I would put a 22 cal pistol with one bullet in a small room, put him in it and then cement block over the entrance. How he dies is then his decision.

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