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Capital punishment under fire

Could change be on the horizon in Ohio — and potentially other states — that allow the death penalty?

A recent execution at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility has spurred a new debate on the constitutionality of capital punishment.

On Thursday, 53-year-old Dennis McGuire, who had been convicted of raping and murdering a pregnant woman, was executed by lethal injection of an untested combination of drugs that the man’s attorney has called “a failed, agonizing experiment by the state of Ohio.”

According to witnesses of the execution, McGuire struggled, made guttural sounds and clenched his fists for about 10 minutes before ultimately being pronounced dead. The entire process lasted about 25 minutes, one of the longest executions in Ohio’s history.

McGuire’s children, who watched the execution, said they plan to file a federal lawsuit, saying their father’s rights under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were violated by his “cruel and unusual death.”

The reason the State of Ohio had to use a new combination of drugs is because it ran out of the drugs it had formerly used and the manufacturer will not sell those drugs to states that use them for executions.

If Ohio and other states cannot get access to a lethal injection drug that kills an inmate humanely, the system should change, whether that be a new method of execution or a halt to the process all together.

Allowing capital punishment should be no excuse to essentially torture an inmate and is no form of justice.