First Executions Since Botched Injection Go Ahead

Georgia, Missouri carry out lethal injections

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2014 12:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – The nation's unofficial moratorium on the death penalty is over. Georgia executed 59-year-old murderer Marcus Wellons tonight with a dose of pentobarbital, reports the AP. Wellons is the first inmate put to death since Oklahoma's botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April. Wellons' attorneys had cited Lockett's death as they sought to stop the procedure, arguing that Georgia must reveal where it got its lethal drug so the quality could be evaluated, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

None of his lawyers' last-minute appeals—at the US Supreme Court, the state Supreme Court, and a federal appeals court in Atlanta—were successful for Wellons, who raped and murdered 15-year-old neighbor India Roberts in 1989. A corrections spokesman says he was pronounced dead just before midnight, and the execution appeared to go smoothly. An hour after Wellons was executed, Missouri put John Winfield, 46, to death by lethal injection for the murder of two women, reports the Los Angeles Times. The inmate, who shot and blinded his ex-girlfriend in the same attack, had an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court rejected.

This undated photo made available by the Georgia Department of Law Enforcement shows Marcus Wellons.   (AP Photo/Georgia Department of Law Enforcement)
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