ATMORE, Ala., May 20 (UPI) -- Alabama executed Jason Oric Williams by lethal injection at Holman Correctional Facility for killing four people in February 1992 during a shooting spree.
Williams, 43, was the first inmate to be executed in the state using pentobarbital as part of a three-drug lethal injection protocol, the (Mobile, Ala.) Press-Register reported. The state used the drug because of a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental, which is typically used in lethal injection executions.
Williams -- who was convicted of killing Gerald Paravicini, 46, Freddie Barber, 50, Linda Barber, 45, and Bryan Barber, 22, in their homes and wounding three other victims -- smiled at his mother and asked for forgiveness before he was put to death at 6:19 p.m. Thursday, the newspaper said.
"I hope that the families of the victims forgive me for what I've done," Williams said.
Ten relatives of the victims witnessed Williams' execution, an Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman said.
Defense lawyers said the use of pentobarbital violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment because it was not proven to prevent pain.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant a stay of execution late Thursday, the Press-Register said.