Death Row Inmate Who Brutally Killed Pregnant Woman Says Penalty Is 'Cruel'

Dennis McGuireDennis McGuire was convicted of the brutal and horrific stabbing death of Joy Stewart, a 22-year-old newly married woman who was 30 weeks pregnant with her first baby, in 1989 when McGuire kidnapped, raped, and stabbed her to death. He is sentenced to die by lethal injection on January 16.

His lawyers, however, have other plans. They think the sentence is cruel because the drug "cocktail" planned for use in the penalty is new. They say it may cause a horrifying phenomenon called "air hunger" where the dying person struggles to breathe and is in pain and fear during their last moments. Kind of like Joy Stewart must have been, correct?

A federal judge has already said the execution will go as planned, but his lawyers are frantically trying other methods to stop it. McGuire has also asked to stop the execution because he wasn't able to address the full extent of his chaotic and abusive childhood.

Look, as someone who is dubious on the death penalty, I see all the points listed here. It IS sad that McGuire chose to destroy three lives (Stewart's, his own, and the viable baby's), but he made those decisions. Not his "abusive" parents, not his lawyers. If we are going to have the death penalty, then we also have to accept that there is no "painless," sweet death and why do we care anyway?

We are KILLING someone! Do I believe that is right? That's not the point. The point is that our law does and, while we say "cruel and unusual" is against the law, we are also operating with an eye for an eye mentality. In this case, the pain and suffering of the victim will STILL be about 10 times that of the inmate, even if he does suffer from "air hunger."

Would it be awful to die that way? Yes. But aren't we splitting hairs a bit here? Death is cruel and unusual as far as punishments go, so does it really matter if it's by firing squad, hanging, or untested lethal injection? Besides, how does one test "lethal injection" on humans unless they test it on humans?

Whether Stewart's family supports the penalty or not is unclear, but I would imagine for many families, whether or not the inmate felt "pain" was inconsequential. They want justice for their loved one. My guess is he is still getting off easier than his victim.

Do you think the "pain" matters in a case like this?


Image via Ohio Department of Rehab

death penalty, crime


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Graca... Gracalynsmom

He took two live's, I don't care about his pain and suffering, How does he think his victim felt?!  Plus the other family has to live with that pain everyday. I believe if you take a life, you deserve to have your life taken away.

nonmember avatar Jlw1403

Have you ever tried editing your articles before you publish them?

2baby... 2babymomma

Why hadn't they done it sooner. Has he been on death row for those 25 years he should have been killed a long time ago but he's probably been appealing this from the beginning.

nonmember avatar Eva

I am very liberal minded on most things, but not this. If it's beyond a shadow of a doubt that he killed that woman and her baby, then too bad. He deserves the death penalty and whatever 'air hunger' he might suffer.

pippi311 pippi311

Think of the pain and suffering this poor woman endured while he was raping and killing her. Sorry, I have no sympathy for these monsters on death row. In fact if it were up to me, I would prefer that their punishment be much more painful and cruel than it is now.

Jessica Palmer

I hope he does suffer a painful death. He deserves it.

mamadola mamadola

I hope he does experience air hunger because if I think of her pain and suffering "air hunger"is not enough suffering for him.

Rando... Randomlady

Oh yeah, we should totally be sympathetic lest we let him die like she did by his hands. Pathetic.

I think there should be a horrific form of death for the murderers and rapists, might prevent people from committing these crimes in the first place if they knew what horror they will have to endure. Lethal injection of air?

Gypsy... GypsyMa76

Hope it does hurt, a lot. Die slowly you piece of crap. 

Jess_Lee Jess_Lee

What he did to that woman and get innocent baby is far worse than "air hunger," not to mention it costs tax payers more money for inmates to be fed and have a roof over their head (no matter how bad the prison is) than it would to give murderers and rapists the lethal injection. Personally, I don't think it's as bad as what she wentthrough so he's getting of easy.

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