First US executions carried out since botched lethal injection

Wednesday 18 June 2014 23.37
In Oklahoma in April a convicted killer and rapist was put to death by lethal injection in a process that took 43 minutes
In Oklahoma in April a convicted killer and rapist was put to death by lethal injection in a process that took 43 minutes

Overnight in the US the first two executions since a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma in April were carried out, after last minute appeals were denied.

One execution was in Georgia and the other in Missouri. Both were by lethal injection.

In the first of them, Marcus Wellons, 58, convicted of the 1989 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl, was put to death shortly before midnight in Georgia, a spokesman for the prison system said.

In the second case, John Winfield, 43, convicted of killing two women, was executed in Missouri, state prison system spokesman Mike O'Connell said.

They were the first since a botched 29 April execution in Oklahoma.

States using the death penalty have faced crises over shortages of lethal injection drugs after European suppliers stopped supplying pentobarbital for use in executions.

The shortages have prompted prison departments in the 32 states that still allow the death penalty to seek new supply sources or new drug protocols.

In Oklahoma in April, Clayton Lockett, a convicted killer and rapist, was put to death by lethal injection in a process that took 43 minutes, well over the expected time of a little over 10 minutes.

He was seen writhing in pain in a spectacle that drew widespread condemnation, even from President Barack Obama.

Since then each execution slated to take place had been delayed as states reviewed their execution procedures.

Keywords: executions