Dennis McGuire (53), who was put to death earlier today by the State of Ohio, ordered a last meal of roast beef, fried chicken, fried potatoes with onions, potato salad, toasted onion bagel with cream cheese, butter pecan ice cream and a Coke.

America, where death sits down at the diner alongside representatives of the Coca-Cola corporation. There’s no need for spicy food, everyone agrees, when you’re gonna have it fried.

That’s not what happened to McGuire: the electric chair is little used nowadays. Instead he was injected with a novel combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a morphine derivative. The State of Ohio has previously administered lethal injections of a barbiturate, pentobarbital. But Danish manufacturers Lundbeck have refused to supply the drug to the United States for use in executions.

America, is your Big Pharma so belittled – so much in decline – that you can’t come up with a new killer drug? Is this what you call R&D nowadays – trying out a new cocktail?

The drugs used on McGuire did not work well. Following the injection (do they rub their arms with alcohol to prevent infection?), his wife and grown-up children watched as he heaved, choked, snorted and gasped, suffering the effects of ‘air hunger’.  After 10 minutes of this, McGuire remained still for a few minutes more before he was pronounced dead.

Still as the placid man with a light beard in the mugshot issued by the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. Thrashing around as he and his heavily pregnant victim must have done, when he raped her and slashed her neck so that she bled to death in the woods where her body was found the following day.
America, the Big Country where executions are small and mean……and not very well executed.