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Georgia execution is first since botched Oklahoma procedure

By Ed Payne and Ralph Ellis, CNN
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Mon September 8, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Marcus Wellons was convicted of raping, killing Georgia teen
  • His execution was the first in U.S. since a botched Oklahoma execution
  • Executions were scheduled in Georgia, Missouri and Florida over 24 hours

CNN's original series "Death Row Stories" explores America's capital punishment system. Join the conversation about the death penalty at facebook.com/cnn or Twitter @CNNorigSeries using #DeathRowStories.

(CNN) -- A Georgia man became the first inmate in the United States to be put to death since the botched execution of an Oklahoma man in April.

Execution drugs shrouded in secrecy
Inmate dies after botched execution
Execution witness: Alarm was palpable

Marcus A. Wellons, 59, was declared dead at 11:56 p.m. Tuesday at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The newspaper was one of the media witnesses to the execution.

Wellons' execution was one of three scheduled in less than 24 hours.

John Winfield was put to death by lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. CT Wednesday, a statement from the Missouri Department of Public Safety said. He was pronounced dead nine minutes later.

In Florida, John Ruthell Henry is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Wellons was convicted in 1993 of raping and killing India Roberts, 15, in Cobb County, just outside Atlanta.

Earlier, Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Rodriguez-Presley said the execution drug to be used was pentobarbital, the same as Georgia has used in the past. Georgia uses a single execution drug, while Oklahoma uses a lethal cocktail, she said.

Clayton Lockett was put to death in April in Oklahoma.

Execution witnesses said Lockett, a convicted murderer and rapist, convulsed and writhed on the execution gurney and struggled to speak before officials blocked the witnesses' view.

Lockett died of a heart attack 43 minutes after being administered the first drug, CNN affiliate KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City reported.

A team that prepared Lockett for execution in April failed to set a properly functioning I-V in his leg, according to preliminary findings of an independent autopsy released last week.

Botched Oklahoma execution: Outside review questions prep work

Tennessee to use electric chair when lethal drugs unavailable

U.S. Supreme Court grants stay of 'excruciating' execution

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