A Missouri inmate was put to death just after midnight for raping and killing a college student in 1995, making him the first US prisoner put to death since an Arizona lethal injection went awry last month. The Missouri Department of Corrections says Michael Worthington was executed by lethal injection at the state prison. He is the seventh Missouri inmate executed this year. Worthington had been sentenced to death for the attack on the 24-year-old woman during a burglary of her Lake St. Louis condominium.
The US Supreme Court and Missouri's governor declined to block the execution yesterday. Worthington's attorneys had pressed the Supreme Court to put off his execution, citing the Arizona execution and two others that were botched in Ohio and Oklahoma, as well as the secrecy involving the drugs used during the process in Missouri. Worthington, much as he did after his arrest, insisted yesterday that he couldn't remember details of the killing and that he was prone to blackouts due to alcohol and cocaine abuse. He said a life prison sentence would have been more appropriate for him. (Read more Michael Worthington stories.)