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Georgia Executes Convict After 34 Years on Death Row

FILE - Georgia death row inmate John Wayne Conner is shown in this undated prison photo released by the Georgia Department of Corrections.

The southern U.S. state of Georgia executed a man early Friday morning after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay of execution for the convict who had been on death row for 34 years.

John Wayne Conner received a lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia.

The 60-year-old Conner was scheduled to be put to death Thursday evening, but the appeals process was still under way.

His lawyers argued that executing him after 34 years on death row was unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment and amounted to double jeopardy, receiving multiple punishments for the same offense.

Conner was convicted for fatally beating his friend J.T. White during an argument after a night of drinking in 1982.

Conner's execution is the sixth in Georgia this year, a record under the current death penalty law.

In recent years, about 20 global drug companies have blocked their drugs from being used as part of the death penalty.

The drugs, however, also have other medical uses, which can make it tricky to keep them from ending up being used in state prisons to carry out executions.

Capital punishment remains legal in a declining number of U.S. sates, as just a handful continue to carry out executions.