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2 executions within 2 hours after 7-week lull

  1. ZenobiaSky
    After a seven-week lapse in U.S. executions, two inmates were put to death by lethal injection within two hours of each other.

    A Georgia man who raped and murdered a 15-year-old girl was executed Tuesday night, ending a seven-week lapse in the death penalty across the United States, the result partly of legal controversies surrounding the practice of lethal injection.

    Marcus Wellons, 59, was executed with barbiturate pentobarbital that the state obtained for the first time from a loosely regulated compounding pharmacy.

    Wellons' execution was the first of three to be carried out in less than 24 hours for condemned prisoners in Georgia, Missouri and Florida.

    A second execution quickly followed in Missouri for John Winfield, convicted of killing two women and blinding a third in a shooting spree in 1996. He was executed early Wednesday morning.

    Attorneys in the Winfield case failed in a bid late Tuesday for a last-minute stay of execution before the U.S.Supreme Court.

    A third execution by lethal injection is planned in Florida at 6 p.m. Wednesday for convicted killer John Henry.

    Attorneys for Wellons unsuccessfully moved to block his execution Tuesday on grounds similar to those raised in recent death penalty cases in other states, arguing that Georgia's secrecy surrounding the barbiturate being used violates the condemned prisoner's constitutional rights. Missouri and Florida also keep secret the sources of their drugs for lethal-injection execution.

    Georgia has joined several other death penalty states scrambling to find necessary drugs for carrying out lethal injections after federally approved manufacturers have elected in recent years to no longer sell their pharmaceuticals for use in executions. Both Missouri and Florida keep secret the sources for their lethal-injection drugs.

    Wellons' lawyers argued that Georgia planned to use an overdose of pentobarbital produced by a compounding pharmacy and not a federally approved manufacturer. Compounding pharmacies, which mix drugs to order, are not heavily regulated. Similar legal grounds were raised in the execution of Clayton Lockett by Oklahoma in late April.

    That execution went awry and witnesses watched in horror as Lockett struggled against his restraints after drugs were administered. He writhed, groaned and attempted to speak before the execution chamber curtains were drawn to keep witnesses from seeing more. The execution was halted, but Lockett died 43 minutes after the process began, reportedly from a heart attack.

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin ordered an investigation. Meanwhile, an independent autopsy performed by a forensic pathologist hired by defense lawyers found that executioners had repeatedly struggled to insert intravenous needles into Lockett's arms and groin, even though he had healthy veins.

    Since that flawed execution, no others had taken place, and several executions had been delayed.

    Gregg Zoroya
    1:33 a.m. EDT June 18, 2014

    The Newhawks Crew


  1. Rob Cypher
    America’s controversial death row executions have resumed with the latest inmate taking more than an hour to die.

    Marcus Wellons received a lethal injection at 10.41pm on Tuesday in Jackson, Georgia, after last-minute appeals to the US Supreme Court failed.

    The 59-year-old took almost one hour and 15 minutes to die after receiving the drugs while strapped to a table.

    Wellons, who raped and murdered his 15-year-old neighbour India Roberts in 1989, apologised to the family of his victim and said: “I ask and hope that you will find peace with my death.”

    His final words were: 'I'm going home to be with Jesus.”

    During his execution a prison guard fainted.

    Five minutes after Wellons was pronounced dead, Missouri authorities commenced the lethal injection of John E. Winfield at 12.01am. He was pronounced dead at 12.10am.

    Winfield, 46, was put to death for shooting three St. Louis County women in the head in 1996, killing two.

    Following a number of botched executions America’s death row units have found it increasingly difficult to obtain the deadly injections because of a European-led boycott on such sales.

    The controversy surrounding the use of such methods has recently gained momentum after European manufacturers, including the Denmark-based maker of pentobarbital, banned US prisons from using their drugs for executions .

    It came after convicted murderer and rapist Clayton Lockett convulsed, clenched his teeth and struggle to talk on the execution table before officials moved in to block the view of witnesses.

    The 38-year-old killer’s death in April was the first time Oklahoma had used a new, three-drug lethal cocktail.

    Lockett died of a heart attack 43 minutes after he was initially injected.

    Amid the growing shortages of the injections Tennessee even agreed to bring back the electric chair .

    All the states planning executions - Florida, Georgia and Missouri - have refused to say where they get their drugs, or if they are tested.

    Another convicted killer, John Ruthell Henry, is scheduled to die today in Florida.

    Christopher Bucktin
    The Mirror
    June 18, 2014

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