First US Execution Since Lethal Injection Botch

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A man on death row was executed in Georgia on Tuesday.

The execution is the first one since a botched execution in Oklahoma nearly two months ago.

There were several other death row inmates who were scheduled for execution the same day.

In April, Clayton Lockett was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection, but the execution was stopped when it was found that the medicine was not being injected into his veins properly.

Although the executioners stopped giving Lockett the injection, he still died from a heart attack a few minutes later.

The medicine used in the injections was blamed for the accident, and several death row inmates hired their attorneys to take advantage of the accident and delay their executions.

The attorneys are challenging the process used by some states to get the lethal injection drugs from unregulated suppliers.

"I think after Clayton Lockett's execution everyone is going to be watching very closely," Fordham University School of Law professor Deborah Denno, a death penalty expert, said of this week's executions. "The scrutiny is going to be even closer."

The man who was executed on Tuesday, was 59-year-old Marcus Wellons of Georgia. Wellons was convicted in the 1989 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl.

At least nine lethal injection executions have been postponed since April. Wellons's execution went smoothly and he reportedly breathed a few heavy breaths before he passed without incident. Wellons was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

Before his execution, Wellons said he hoped his death would bring peace to the family of India Roberts, a teen neighbor whom he raped and murdered in suburban Atlanta in 1989.

"I'd like to apologize to the Roberts family for my crimes and ask for forgiveness," he said.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons

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