An attorney for an Ohio death row inmate who underwent a slow, gasping execution with a new drug combination has been accused of coaching the condemned man to fake symptoms of suffocation.
Dennis McGuire, 53, took 26 minutes to die – the longest execution of the 53 carried out in Ohio since capital punishment resumed 15 years ago – which renewed questions about the death penalty.
The Office of the Public Defender said Robert Lowe, one of McGuire’s attorneys, was temporarily suspended last week but back at work Monday after a review failed to substantiate the allegation.
State prison records released Monday say McGuire told guards that Lowe counseled him to make a show of his death that would, perhaps, lead to abolition of the death penalty.
There are two possibilities here.
1) McGuire was unconscious and therefore incapable of faking anything.
2) He was not unconscious, potentially capable of faking something, and therefore was being killed very slowly and in great pain.
It is not possible for him to have been faking it and also not being killed slowly. The allegation itself is therefore absurd.