There’s growing outrage over an execution in Ohio after complaints that the convicted murderer suffered too much in his final moments.

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On Friday night’s Kelly File, Megyn Kelly asked, “What about the real victim in all of this?”

The story begins with Joy Stewart, a 22-year-old newlywed, who was nearly eight months pregnant when she went missing in February 1989. Her body was discovered in the woods near a local creek. Her throat was slit and she had been repeatedly raped.

Almost a year later, prison inmate Dennis McGuire claimed that his brother-in-law had murdered Stewart.  McGuire ended up implicating himself when he described details only the killer would know.

He was convicted of murder in 1994 and last week, his death sentence was carried out. McGuire was injected with a mixture of drugs that was used for the first time in the United States. He died 24 minutes after the lethal injection. 

Now, McGuire’s family is reportedly planning to file a lawsuit, claiming the execution violated his constitutional right not to be punished in a cruel and unusual manner.

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Kelly spoke to Josh Sweigart, a reporter for the Dayton Daily News who was present during the execution. He recalled the moments after the lethal injection, when McGuire appeared to fall asleep for several minutes. Then, McGuire convulsed and gasped for the next 10 minutes. Sweigart said he appeared to be unconscious during that time.

McGuire’s son witnessed the execution. He said afterward, “The victim of my father’s crime didn’t have an audience. […] We had two rooms full of people watching him suffer and be put to death. She didn’t.”

Kelly reacted, “It’s been amazing to see the reaction to the pain and suffering he may have experienced, or may not have, we don’t know, with so little mention of the victim.”

She spoke to David Lindloff, an investigator for the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office who helped put McGuire behind bars. Lindloff noted there were three victims in this murder: Joy, the baby she carried and her husband, Kenny, who later killed himself. “I’m sure that Joy Stewart suffered a lot more than Dennis McGuire did.”

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