Florida Executes Killer

John Ruthell Henry is third US execution in 24 hours

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 18, 2014 7:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – Florida has executed a man who fatally stabbed his wife and her young son in 1985—the third US execution in less than 24 hours since Oklahoma's botched procedure in April. The governor's office says John Ruthell Henry was pronounced dead at 7:43pm after a lethal injection. The 63-year-old was convicted and sentenced to death for fatally stabbing his wife, Suzanne Henry. Just before his execution, Henry asked for forgiveness and apologized for what he'd done.

He also was convicted of fatally stabbing Suzanne Henry's 5-year-old son hours after the woman's murder. (The Tampa Tribune has the back story.) Henry previously had pleaded no contest to second-degree murder for stabbing his common-law wife, Patricia Roddy, in 1976. He served less than eight years and was released in 1983. The US Supreme Court turned down a last-second appeal. The other two executions took place in Georgia and Missouri.

This undated photo made available by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows John Ruthell Henry.
This undated photo made available by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows John Ruthell Henry.   (Uncredited)
Herman Lindsey, right, hugs a colleague in front of the Florida State Prison near Starke, Fla.  Lindsey was exonerated from death row and was part of a group of protestors.
Herman Lindsey, right, hugs a colleague in front of the Florida State Prison near Starke, Fla. Lindsey was exonerated from death row and was part of a group of protestors.   (Phil Sandlin)
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