Fr. Lawrence Hummer gives a last mass in Ohio’s Chillicothe Correctional Institution before accompanying Dennis McGuire to his torture and experimental execution.
I came out of that room feeling that I had witnessed something ghastly. I was relieved to be out in the fresh air. There is no question in my mind that Dennis McGuire suffered greatly over many minutes. I’d been told that a “normal” execution lasted five minutes – this experimental two-drug concoction had taken 26 minutes. I consider that inhumane.
His family had been exposed to something horrendous. They cried and sobbed, held each other, held onto my hand, and at times turned away to hug each other so they didn’t have to watch. And then there’s the family of Joy Stewart, who I think were sitting next to us on the other side of a wall. I pray for them because I know they too have been through hell and back. My heart goes out to them, but I don’t see how his death will bring them peace. All it means is that they witnessed somebody else die.
Full account including video interview with Dennis McGuire’s son here (via The Guardian)