On Thursday night, Marion Wilson Jr. was executed by the state of Georgia for his role in a 1996 murder. Wilson—who CNN notes was sentenced to death in 1997 for killing Donovan Corey Parks after Parks gave him a ride from an Atlanta Walmart—was put to death by lethal injection at 9:52pm. He was the state's 73rd execution since the death penalty was reinstated nationwide in 1976, a Georgia Department of Corrections release notes. Wilson also now claims another dubious distinction: Per the Death Penalty Information Center, he became the 1,500th person in the US to be executed since that landmark US Supreme Court decision 43 years ago.
An appeal for clemency had been denied on Wednesday by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. Before he received his injection of pentobarbital at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Wilson had some final words, including that "I ain't never took a life in my life." To family and other supporters, Fox News reports he said, "I love y'all forever. Death can't stop it. Can't nothing stop it." Wilson's last meal, per the Department of Corrections: a loaded thin-crust pizza, wings, butter pecan ice cream, and apple pie, all washed down with grape juice. "Execution doesn't bring him back," Parks' brother recently told the AP. "But what execution does is it offers a starting point for myself, my dad, our family, to finally get some sort of closure and to start healing." (Read more execution stories.)