Skip to main content

I take pride in being from Ohio. I do not take any in whatever abstract anti-intellectualism brought about the superfluous means in which a Capital Sentence was carried out. Below Please find the Letter I chose to write the Attorney General's Office as to the means and way Mr. Maguire met his sentence yesterday. I do not mourn the man but I do mourn the callous manner in which the wisdom of other states, and the rule of law seems void as well as the lack of consideration to a higher duty as Attorneys and Human Beings for Consideration before we inflict pains we will never know. For or against the Death Sentence any should agree that as the Supreme Court has implored us Human Dignity is the main consideration and we took not only that man's breath, dignity and life, because . . . we ran out of the things we need to kill? That is not good enough for me so see below.

PS if anyone has his email address please let me know. I only see a physical one.

Please see this link as to the story.

(Note Mr. Madden is the individual quoted as saying more or less "Pain is Fine" Also please note I have not extensively read briefs and all the below even if stated otherwise is my opinion even if factually documented I mean to relay opinion)

Dear Mr. Madden:

I write you regarding your zealous representation on behalf of the State of Ohio regarding the execution by untested means of Dennis McGuire.
In being sworn in the head of your office made clear that “What the Attorney General owes to the Governor and all other statewide office holders is good judgment and wise counsel. What the Attorney General owes to the people of Ohio, as I pledged in my oath, is to seek the truth and to seek justice,” DeWine said in his remarks.
Do you believe you have sought justice or truth in bringing about this man’s unnecessary suffering. Has the citizenry been strengthened by your statements that one is “NOT entitled to a pain free execution”. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of the United States has disagreed. As a man who is in office to seek Justice, this botched execution comes as a blemish to my pride as an Ohioan and raises great ethical questions about the purposes and responsibilities of execution
Whatever the man did, our framers decided to include the eighth amendment to keep you, me, our families and the departed (whatever his crimes) free of a cruel and unusual punishment.
You present that your office seeks justice and truth. Yet the blistering ignorance of the insinuation that suffering must attach with no demarcation is beyond the pale we as attorneys hold ourselves to; let alone what I would hope the state may in its aspirational pursuit of “Justice”. OK I don’t get this sentence.
Your statements, I hope not authorized, are to me inconsistent with Eight Amendment Jurisprudence. I realize the certain irony in separating the matter of cruelty from the instance of  death but we must respect the Supreme Court’s wisdom that how we choose to take such a drastic act must not be "inconsistent with evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society."  Baze v. Rees, 553 U.S. 35, 62 (2008).

As a Citizen and someone who considers this abhorrent, with the hopes my State’s officials will avoid such a torturous event I hope you do not forget what wisdom we can draw from. The Supreme Court has acknowledged that the Eighth Amendment does bar some methods, and acknowledges that in fact a respect of human dignity is of crucial import in making a determination. While the Supreme Court does not and likely cannot state a level of pain as such an aloof concept, it’s disregard is beneath us and at least we do have some consideration, allowance for some self control from the many cases discussed including Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), Justice Brennan wrote, "There are, then, four principles by which we may determine whether a particular punishment is 'cruel and unusual'."
•    The "essential predicate" is "that a punishment must not by its severity be degrading to human dignity," especially torture.
•    "A severe punishment that is obviously inflicted in wholly arbitrary fashion." (Furman v. Georgia temporarily suspended capital punishment for this reason.)
•    "A severe punishment that is clearly and totally rejected throughout society."
We are expected to be a society of evolving standards. Not one of blatant disregard to our increasing sense of humane action even as to executions: [the Amendment must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society."  The Supreme Court has ruled in the past that certain punishments involving "torture or a lingering death" cross the line into cruel and unusual; we no longer practice "burning at the stake, crucifixion, [and] breaking on the wheel." 23 Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 100 (1958). 23. In re Kemmler, 136 U.S. 436, 446 (1890).

I believe progress and understanding our limitations and abilities is not something we should disregard for Retributivism. This man should not, nomatter how compelling your legal argument laid on slab, with forgiveness from the family in heart and be subjected to a pain we will never know.

As a Citizen I can say that the risk that a man would lie and experience "unnecessary
and wanton infliction of pain does not comport with the progress I believe in. I hope that you agree and that your office swiftly investigates how your argument led to this. Should there be a lack of regret I would ask what that means about us as people, when the victim’s family itself could forgive. What it means about the qualification and intent that went into this legal battle.

Is the picture of a man experiencing “Air Hunger” for 20 minutes within our societal aspirations? Is the message of the certainty of such a torturous death being alright due to how you chose to read what pain we can inflict a progress we consider wisdom?

Ignorance is simply no excuse. It frightens me the seeming haste that decisions were made simply because we did not have our normal drugs to kill. This is not new. US Courts of note have considered and stopped similar procedures because of the exact risks of the deplorable torture your office took part in as that is the simple truth. With a life in your hands the Eight Amendment has been crossed. See Morales v. Hickman, 438 F.3d at 931 (considering exactly the risk of “Air Hunger”).

We are not a Society of vindictive bumper-sticker statements to appease those most blood-thirsty. At least I hope that our standards as human being have evolved beyond as we have recognized that we are beyond many methods of “humane deaths”.

I question then why such a message would be sent. One of anti-intellectualism and pure draconian desire. “Pain is fine”. Was it tempered by deep consideration of Morales? Of what it is to respect and live in a Country with a rule of law, with disregard to the pressures to advocate swift death sentences despite real concerns glossed over even when perhaps our higher duties would say that prudence should be allowed to avert such barbarism?

I only know that at the moment there that cruelty occurred despite the warnings. As ab Ohioan and Lawyer and I hope you will agree with me that even without stare decisis we should strive for more. I believe in a State and Country that even those most vehemently hated are free from simply following orders to a more humane calling avoiding such an abhorrent death. At least we may learn, your office, our state from what has occurred and I hope strive to be better than who we are as who we showed ourselves to be is simply intolerable. I hope that all involved explore their culpability and take those steps necessary to preserve the dignity of their offices. As Citizens if we are not free from “pain in death” we should be free from “fear in the protection of our Constitutional rights.

Yours Truly,


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Is Any Kind Citizen Action Possible on This? /nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ClevelandAttorney, GAS, FarWestGirl

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:14:55 PM PST

  •  McGuire's family is suing (9+ / 0-)

    On grounds that McGuire's 8th amendment rights were violated.  Personally I hope they win.  It seems a clear case of cruel and unusual punishment.  The man died died slowly and painfully for nearly half an hour from a cocktail of drugs that even the state admits it didn't know what the effects on a human body would be.  In effect Mr. McGuire was a human lab rat for a macabe experiment.  Dr. Mengele would be proud.

    Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

    by ChadmanFL on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:21:34 PM PST

  •  I Have Periodic Sleep Paralysis Which Sometimes (5+ / 0-)

    involves breathing to some extent. I probably have some breathing difficulty several times a year, and this is while being just awake enough to be self aware and to hear real activity around me, but too paralyzed to wake up without struggling for a minute or few.

    If somebody made anyone go through the kind of experience I do, there'd definitely be grounds for a suit.

    What I can't know unless there's published information available is whether this drug cocktail causes pain in addition to the paralysis, which alone would be terrifying if experienced for the first time.

    I said elsewhere, a fatal overdose of heroin would seem trivially simple to obtain and administer. People do it by accident every day.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:32:22 PM PST

    •  They would use morphine, much easier to (0+ / 0-)

      calculate the proper overdose with cheap and pure ingredients. And I agree, inmates have been away from any possible use or circumstance where they might have developed a tolerance for opiates, so unless the individual is lacking the correct opiate receptors, (possible, but rare), a morphine OD would seem to be a perfectly good approach.

      I looked into the 'two drug cocktail' that was used here, the usual paralytic that stops respiration immediately was missing, allowing the gasping, 'air hunger' response that was expected and seen. The part of the usual 3 drug cocktail that is painful is the final component, potassium chloride, but by then the first two have rendered the person unconscious and paralysed, so there should be no perception of that pain. The injections used in this case had no potassium, so would not have been painful of themselves.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 01:14:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site