Inmate's attorneys ask to stop execution, citing possible 'lingering death'

Murderer sentenced to death for setting 82-year-old man on fire in his home.
MCT Regional News
Feb 4, 2014

Gregory Lott, the next Ohio killer scheduled for execution, could suffer a “lingering death” for 45 minutes after being officially declared dead – and might even be resuscitated, his attorneys argued in a court motion filed today.

Federal public defenders representing Lott asked U.S. District Court Gregory L. Frost to stop his scheduled March 19 execution, citing problems with the Jan. 16 lethal injection of Dennis McGuire. They said there is a “substantial risk of lingering death, of degradation, and of unnecessary pain and suffering” under Ohio’s current process.

Lott’s attorney’s asked for time beyond the 30-day notification Ohio officials promised if they plan to makes changes in the two-drug protocol used to execute McGuire.

Lott, 51, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing John McGrath, 82, setting him on fire in his Cleveland-area home in 1986. McGrath lingered 11 days in the hospital before dying. Lott came close to execution in 2004, but the U.S. Supreme Court blocked it.

Most intriguing among several arguments made on Lott’s behalf is the claim that with some drugs, executed inmates might not be really dead when a medical technician and the county coroner declare death by using a stethoscope to listen for heart and lung sounds. They contend that an electro cardiogram, a medical device used to detect electrical heart impulses, can find signs of life for up to 45 minutes longer.

“To declare death as soon as heart and lung sounds are no longer heard may make Lott’s death more pleasant for witnesses,” the motion said. “The participants in, and witnesses to, Lott’s execution will have gone on about their business as Lott’s heart clings to life even as he is transported in a hearse.”

They added that there is a “substantial likelihood that Lott can be resuscitated” after being declared dead.

Citing previous executions, attorneys said in the 45 minutes after death was declared, the lethal injection IV lines are removed, the body moved to a hearse, and the hearse left the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville.

Attorney General Mike DeWine spokeswoman Lisa Hackley said she had no comment on the public defender’s motion.

In McGuire’s case, he gasped, choked, and clenched his fists, all the while appearing to be unconscious, for at least 10 minutes after the lethal drugs began flowing into his body. The drugs, 10 mg of midazolam, a sedative, and 40 mg of hydromorphone, a morphine derivative, had never before been used for an execution.

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By Alan Johnson - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

mikeylikesit

boo hoo..

Seen it All

I know, we can just set you on fire, because Lord knows, that would be much less painful! Suck it up Alice!

bigdad1205

Break out old sparky and strap him in. No worries about lingering death there.

ferball14

Bullet to the head, carbon monoxide, 6 foot rope, old fashion public stoning, slit in the throat and hung upside down after a shock to the brain...should I go on about other more fitting options for this loser?

kURTje

If only the people could vote on this. Swift death! Housing trash (prison) takes away from honest people who deserve help.

SMF1

I must say, his attorney has some nads using "lingering death" as the reason for his argument. Let's see, his 45 minutes to kiss off versus 11 days suffering after being set on fire...be still my crying heart.

SMF1

.

propman

When someone is convicted of murder and sentenced to death they should be begging for an easy death like lethal injection.
They really should experience the death they visited on their victim(s)

A.M.

I absolutely agree propman

Nettiewata

I don't agree with the death penalty at all. Why is it ok for the government to do exactly what they are sentencing the convicted person for doing? There is only one person who has the right to take a life and that is the one who gave it to us...GOD! I say life without parole for murderers and keep them in solitary the whole time with no special privileges like a tv or radio in their cell. Let them suffer the whole time.

thinkagain

Any argument for continuing the death penalty is not an argument about criminal justice, but rather one based on savage bloodthirst.

inquiringmind

Why don't we just let the murderer go and live with some of the people who are against the death penalty? That way, the ones against the death penalty can show how much they really love their fellow man.