FLORENCE, Ariz., March 29 (UPI) -- A longtime deathrow inmate was put to death Tuesday in Arizona a few hours after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt the execution.
The high court rejected Eric John King's appeal and a request for a stay of execution in a two-sentence order. The Arizona Board of Clemency refused Monday to hear an appeal based on questions about the drugs to be used for the lethal injection, The Arizona Republic reported.
King died just after 10 a.m. in the state prison in Florence. He smiled at relatives and friends who witnessed the execution and said only "no" when asked if he had any last words.
In their last-ditch appeal, King's lawyers said the drugs to be used for the execution were classified for animals, not humans. Corrections Department Director Charles Ryan told the Republic an employee at the company importing the drugs made a mistake filling out U.S. Customs forms.
King, 47, was sentenced to death for killing a clerk and a security guard at a Short Stop store in Phoenix in 1989. He and a friend had been drinking and went to the store to buy wine, a trip that turned into a robbery.
King had completed a prison term for rape only four months before the killings. Court documents indicated he grew up in a violent home where he began drinking and using drugs at 9 and was on his own at 15.