Missouri execution was quick and quiet

Michael Shane Worthington, who died with a Bible on his chest, made no apology for raping and killing a young woman in 1995 in his last statement.

Frances Burns
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. UPI/Bill Greenblatt
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo

BONNE TERRE, Mo., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Missouri put Michael Shane Worthington to death quickly and quietly Wednesday -- a contrast to the most recent U.S. execution, which took more than 90 minutes.

Worthington was pronounced dead at 12:11 a.m. He spent his last conscious moments talking to his stepmother, girlfriend and relatives.


Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon denied a request for clemency after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Worthington's final appeals.

Worthington, 43, was sentenced to death for raping and killing a neighbor, Melinda "Mindy" Griffin, in 1995. He did not apologize to her family in a last statement.

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"Thank you, I will finally get to live in peace with my true Father. I'll no longer have to suffer. It's really my beloved friends and family that will suffer," he said. "May God forgive those who call this justice. When in truth, it's truly about politics and revenge. Amen and peace to unto you all."

Worthington had a Bible on his chest as he was put to death.

On July 23, Joseph Rudolph Wood III was put to death in Arizona using a two-drug protocol. While most executions by lethal injection take about 10 minutes, Wood was not pronounced dead for almost two hours, and some witnesses said he appeared to be gasping for air for much of that time.

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Missouri, which has carried out nine executions since last November, uses a single-drug protocol.

The apparently botched executions of Wood and of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma have raised questions about the way the death penalty is carried out. Death-penalty states have turned to compounding pharmacies for execution drugs, as pharmaceutical companies refuse to supply them.

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