Georgia, Missouri hold first U.S. executions since the botched lethal injection in Oklahoma

Georgia held its first execution using drugs from a compounding pharmacy protected by a secrecy law.
By Frances Burns  |  June 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM
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ATLANTA, June 18 (UPI) -- Marcus Wellons, the first U.S. convict to be put to death since the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma, died quietly in Georgia.

A few minutes later, John Winfield was executed in Missouri. He was pronounced dead a few minutes after midnight Wednesday.

Florida was scheduled to hold the third execution in 24 hours on Wednesday in the state prison in Raiford. John Henry was scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m.

Wellons, 58, died shortly before midnight Tuesday at the Jackson State Diagnostic Prison.

He was the first person to be executed in Georgia using drugs compounded for the purpose by a pharmacy protected by a secrecy law. Last month, the state Supreme Court upheld the secrecy law in a 5-2 decision.

Wellons apologized to the family of India Roberts, 15, the girl he raped and killed in 1989. He told his own family he was "going home to be with Jesus."

"I ask and hope they will find peace in my death," he said of his victim's family.

A few protesters gathered outside the prison before the execution.

Winfield, 46, was executed for the 1996 killings of Arthea Sanders and Shawnee Murphy, friends of Carmellita Donald, the mother of his two children. Winfield, angry because Donald had been dating someone else, raped and shot her and her friends, but she survived.

His execution also proceeded without incident. He said a few words to witnesses -- apparently "I love you" -- just before the lethal drugs were administered.

Oklahoma put executions on hold for six months after Lockett's death in April. Lockett died of a heart attack about 10 minutes after prison officials halted the execution because the lethal drugs did not appear to be reaching his veins.

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