A federal judge has refused to stop the execution of an Ohio killer facing a never-tried lethal injection process that the inmate's attorneys say will cause him agony and terror, the Associated Press reports. Judge Gregory Frost's ruling moved Dennis McGuire one step closer to execution Thursday with a two-drug method developed after supplies of Ohio's former execution drug dried up. Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Parole Board have rejected McGuire's plea for clemency.
The judge said McGuire had failed to present evidence that he would suffer breathing problems alleged by his attorneys — a phenomenon known as “air hunger” — and said the risk to McGuire is within constitutional limits. “The evidence before this court fails to present a substantial risk that McGuire will experience severe pain,” Frost said. The judge rejected a similar request by death row inmate Ronald Phillips, who was set to become the first to die by the new method until Kasich delayed his execution to study the feasibility of Phillips' donating organs to family members. McGuire, 53, was convicted of the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of Joy Stewart in in western Ohio.