LUCASVILLE, Ohio -- A lawyer for the Ohio inmate who was executed Thursday says his death was "a failed, agonizing experiment by the state of Ohio."
Dennis McGuire was put to death with a combination of drugs that had never before been tried in the United States. He appeared to gasp several times, and it took him more than 15 minutes to die. He opened and shut his mouth several times as his stomach rose and fell.
His daughter, Amber McGuire, said, "Oh my God," as she observed his final moments.
McGuire's lawyers had tried to stop the execution last week, arguing that the method would put him at a substantial risk of "agony and terror" while straining to catch his breath.
But an attorney for the state told a judge, "You're not entitled to a pain-free execution."
After the execution, McGuire's lawyer said Ohioans "should be appalled at what was done here today in their names."
McGuire was executed for killing Joy Stewart, a newlywed who was eight months pregnant at the time. Her sister released a statement after the execution, saying of McGuire, "We have forgiven him, but that does not negate the need for him to pay for his actions."