Human RightsNorth America

US resumes controversial execution by injection


John Ruthell Henry was the third man to be put to death after a nearly two-month reprieve from faced capital execution. Henry was convicted of double murder and punishment by lethal injection like the other two before him just this week.
In Georgia, Marcus Wellons was pronounced dead on Tuesday. John Winfield of Missouri on Wednesday. The United States is back in the business of executing those who have been sentenced to death after the botched lethal injection of an Oklahoma man in April. Convicted murderer Clayton Lockett died 43 MINUTES after getting the deadly injection. The team responsible for prepping his execution improperly followed procedure. During Lockett’s execution witnesses say they heard him speak and groan. They say they saw his body convulse after he was declared unconscious, before finally suffering a heart attack almost an hour later. Lockett’s botched execution led to the cessation of capital punishment in the US for several weeks. But this week the U.S. Supreme Court and a federal appeals court refused to hear last-minute appeals from Henry and he was put to death. This is while Americans attitudes on the death penalty appear to be changing. A Gallup poll found that support was down to 60 percent for the first time in 40 years–falling from 80 percent in 1994. Challenges over the use of controversial drugs and the mental stability of those sentenced to death have set off a series of court battles over death penalty. Last week, a federal judge stayed an execution set for a man in Missouri this week.

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