A Missouri man who killed a couple during a robbery at their rural home more than a quarter of a century ago was put to death Tuesday, becoming just the fifth person executed in the United States this year, the AP reports. Carman Deck, 56, died by injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre. He was pronounced dead at 6:10pm. His fate was sealed a day earlier when neither the US Supreme Court nor Republican Gov. Mike Parson stepped in to halt the execution. Deck’s death sentence was overturned three times before for procedural issues.
Deck mouthed a few inaudible words as the 5 grams of pentobarbital were administered, then puffed out a couple of breaths before all movement stopped, the process lasting just a few seconds. “My hope is that one day the world will find peace and that we all will learn to be kind and loving to one another,” Deck said in a written final statement. “We all are a part of this journey through life, connected in every way. Please give love, show love, BE LOVE!” Parson, in a statement, said the couple killed, James and Zelma Long, “were innocent victims of Carman Deck’s heinous violence. Tonight, justice was served.”
Court records show that Deck was a friend of the grandson of the Longs, and he knew the couple, in their late 60s, kept a safe in their home. In July 1996, Deck and his sister stopped at the home under the guise of asking directions. Deck wasn’t surprised the couple let them in. “They’re country folks,” Deck told a detective, according to court records. “They always do.” Once inside, Deck pulled a gun from his waistband. At Deck’s command, Zelma Long opened the safe and removed jewelry, then got $200 from her purse and more money hidden in a canister. Deck ordered the couple to lie on their stomachs on their bed. Court records said Deck stood there for 10 minutes deciding what to do, then shot James Long twice in the head before doing the same thing to Zelma Long.
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