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US Resumes Executions After Botched Lethal Injection

  • VOA News

FILE - Death row inmate Marcus Wellons is seen in an undated handout from the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Condemned prisoners in two U.S. states have been put to death by lethal injection, the first executions since a botched procedure back in April raised new questions about capital punishment.

The first occurred in Georgia late Tuesday, when 58-year-old Marcus Wellons was executed for the 1989 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl. An hour after Wellons was pronounced dead, convicted killer John Winfield was executed in Missouri shortly after midnight Wednesday. Winfield was convicted for the shooting deaths of two women in 1996.

Wellons and Winfield were put to death after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider their last-minute appeals.

Several executions across the United States had been postponed after convicted killer Clayton Lockett was put to death by lethal injection April 29 in Oklahoma. Officials halted the procedure after Lockett appeared to endure agonizing pain for several minutes before finally dying of a heart attack.

Prison officials in states that carry out executions by lethal injections have been forced to obtain new drugs from domestic sources after European drug makers stopped supplying certain drugs used in the procedure.

A third execution by lethal injection is scheduled for Wednesday in Florida.