Sunday, June 22, 2014

Georgia carries out first execution nationwide in 7 weeks

The 21st Execution of 2014
Georgia inmate Marcus Wellons was put to death on June 17, 2014 for the 1989 rape and murder of a Cobb County teenager in the state’s first execution where the source of its lethal-injection drug was cloaked in secrecy, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Wellons’ execution received heightened scrutiny because it was the first one in the country to be carried out since a botched execution occurred in Oklahoma seven weeks ago.
That incident ratcheted up the debate over the lethal-injection process and the use of made-to-order drugs produced by undisclosed compounding pharmacies. Even a federal appeals court judge who declined to halt the execution Tuesday cited what happened in Oklahoma as a reason why Georgia should not have a lethal-injection secrecy law.
Wellons, 58, was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. after his final appeals were denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Wellons apologized to the family of India Roberts the teenager he was convicted of killing and said, “I ask and hope they will find peace in my death.”
He thanked his family and friends for their love and prayers and added, “I’m going home to be with Jesus.”
Wellons hummed as prayer was being said and as the warden read the death warrant. Otherwise there was little movement visible as he lay on the gurney. He was seen to exhale a couple of times before his body seemed to quiver and then there was no more movement.
Three minutes before Wellons was declared dead a nurse standing to his left was seen asking one of the corrections officers if he was ok, just before the officer fainted.
In 1993, a Cobb County jury sentenced Wellons to death for the rape and murder of 15-year-old India Roberts in the Vinings townhouse of Wellons’ girlfriend. Wellons was supposed to be moving out of the townhouse when he abducted India as she was walking to her school bus stop the morning of Aug. 31, 1989. She was believed to have been strangled with a telephone cord.
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