First US executions carried out since botched attempt

2014-06-18 09:17
Marcus Wellons is the first inmate put to death in the United States since a botched execution in Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Georgia Department of Law Enforcement)

Marcus Wellons is the first inmate put to death in the United States since a botched execution in Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Georgia Department of Law Enforcement)

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Washington - US states overnight on Tuesday carried out the first two executions since a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma in April, after last minute appeals were denied.

One execution was in Georgia and the other in Missouri. Both were also by lethal injection.

In the first of them, Marcus Wellons, aged 58, convicted of the 1989 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl, was put to death shortly before midnight in the southern state of Georgia, a spokesperson for the prison system said.

In the second case, John Winfield, aged 43, convicted of killing two women, was executed in the central state of Missouri, state prison system spokesperson Mike O'Connell said.

They were the first since the botched 29 April execution in Oklahoma.

A third execution was also scheduled for 18:00 on Wednesday in the southern state of Florida.

US states using the death penalty have faced crises over shortages of lethal injection drugs after European suppliers stopped supplying pentobarbital for use in executions.

The shortages have prompted prison departments in the 32 states that still allow the death penalty to seek new supply sources or new drug protocols.

In Oklahoma in April, Clayton Lockett, a convicted killer and rapist, was put to death by lethal injection in a process that took 43 minutes, well over the expected time of a little over 10 minutes.

He was seen writhing in pain in a spectacle that drew widespread condemnation, even from President Barack Obama.

Since then each execution slated to take place had been delayed as states reviewed their execution procedures.

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