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Missouri executes man who confessed to killing elderly couple

Carman Deck was sentenced to death for the 1996 murders of an elderly couple. File Photo courtesy of Jeremy Weis
Carman Deck was sentenced to death for the 1996 murders of an elderly couple. File Photo courtesy of Jeremy Weis

May 3 (UPI) -- Missouri on Tuesday executed a death row prisoner convicted of killing an elderly couple during a robbery in 1996.

Carman Deck, 56, died by lethal injection at about 6:10 p.m. at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, his lawyers said.

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He was sentenced to death in 1998 after confessing to killing James Long and Zelma Long at their De Soto, Mo., home.

His execution came one day after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant a stay and Gov. Mike Parson declined a request for clemency.

"Mr. Deck has received due process, and three separate juries of his peers have recommended sentences for death for the brutal murders he committed," Parson said in a statement denying the clemency.

Deck was convicted three times in the case, all three of which were thrown out on procedural errors until an appeals court reinstated the conviction in 2020. His lawyers took issue with the sentence handed down by the third jury, which "did not hear from a single live witness who know Carman before the crime."

"This botched process simply provides insufficient guardrails to support taking Carman's life," attorney Elizabeth Unger Carlyle said. "Life imprisonment without parole would have been a just and adequate punishment for him."

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Deck's was the fifth execution in the United States and first in Missouri this year.

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