Reaction is still coming to last week’s problematic and controversial execution, one of the longest ones on record in Ohio. And the troubles that Ohio has had in carrying out executions has led one lawmaker to propose adding to the audience of those witnessing the lethal injection process.
A convicted killer from western Ohio became the first person ever to be executed with a two-drug mix that the state of Ohio adopted as its execution method late last year.
The execution of 53 year old Dennis McGuire began with him telling his family he loved them and thanking the family of his victim, Joy Stewart, for a letter they sent him. Columbus Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson says McGuire closed his eyes, and then seemed to have trouble breathing.
An annual report that looks at Ohio's capital punishment system says 128 inmates sentenced to death over the past three decades have avoided their sentence through court action, commutations or dying of natural causes.
The report by Attorney General Mike DeWine says the state sentenced a total of 316 inmates to death from 1981, when Ohio's current death penalty law was enacted, through 2012.
Eighteen inmates have been spared by Ohio governors, 24 died in prison and eight were found ineligible for execution because they are mentally disabled.