Despite a series of appeals in which lawyers for Darryl Durr contended their client had a severe allergy to the anesthesia used in lethal injections, the prisoner was put to death this morning in Ohio.
Durr, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1988 murder of a 16-year-old girl, was executed at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. A prison official who witnessed the execution described the event to ABC News:
A prison official who was present told ABC News that as the process began Durr clenched his fists and grimaced while holding his head up for about 10 seconds, before putting his head down. The official, who declined to be identified, said it wasn’t clear whether Durr was in pain or reacting to the moment.
Prior to the execution, Durr’s lawyer Kathleen McGarry argued that the anesthetic used in the lethal injection procedure could violate her client’s rights:
“One of the things the Ohio Constitution guarantees is that he has a quick and painless execution,” McGarry said to the Associated Press last week.
“If he’s going to react to the anesthetic drugs in such a manner that he’s going to have a violent reaction, either vomiting or seizures or whatever the spectrum is that could happen, then obviously the execution has problems,” she said.
Several letters were posted to a blog dedicated to clemency for Durr prior to his execution, and Durr maintained he was innocent in all the ultimately unsuccessful appeals he made.