State says McGuire execution process ‘worked very well’

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Initial reviews of the execution of Preble County murderer Dennis McGuire say the process “worked very well”.

McGuire was executed last month with a mix of lethal injection drugs never before used.

Witnesses said McGuire appeared to be “gasping” for air.

2 NEWS Investigates obtained the reviews from the Department of Corrections. They deal specifically with the state’s execution policy and are required every time an inmate is put to death.

Both say the state followed procedure.

It took convicted murder and rapist McGuire 26 minutes to die after he was given a new lethal mix of drugs. That’s Ohio’s longest execution since the state resumed capital punishment 15 years ago, but two state reports say everything went according to policy.

The Warden of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, Donald Morgan submitted this after-action report.

He answered questions about the execution process, saying it worked very well and the execution was carried out in compliance with Ohio policy.

He did not address the time it took for McGuire to die or the gasping sound he made, Morgan did say there were not any acts or events that were not anticipated in advance

A special assistant also completed a review.

In it, he too, said he found no issues of non-compliance with the policy. He noted there were at least three medical team members who helped conduct the execution. He said all were appropriately trained and qualified.

McGuire’s family is suing the state claiming the execution “tortured” him, sparking a debate over the use of the new drugs, but the special assistant said there’s no reason to revise the policy for future lethal injections.

We’re still waiting for a broader review that looks specifically at what occurred during McGuire’s execution. A Department of Corrections spokesperson tells 2 NEWS Investigates there’s no set time frame for that to be released. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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