6. Dennis McGuire


McGuire’s execution was probably the most high-profile recent case of a death penalty inmate who suffered agony before finally dying. McGuire had been on death row for more than 20 years after a conviction for the rape and murder of a woman in 1989. On January 16, 2014, McGuire was executed in Ohio via lethal injection.

The shocking and insane part of this story is that it took nearly 30 minutes for McGuire to die, and witnesses said that he was making noises of pain and suffering the entire time. The McGuire execution was the first time that Ohio prison officials had used a mix of lethal drugs known as hydromorphine and midazolam. This combination of drug is supposed to put a prisoner to sleep so no pain is experienced, but that wasn’t the case in the McGuire execution, though prison officials claim McGuire was unconscious and that his writhing was an involuntary reaction, not an indication that he was in pain