WASHINGTON: Florida put to death a convicted double killer, the third execution in 24 hours in the United States, amid a raging controversy over lethal injection methods.
The flurry of executions brings a swift end to a seven-week hiatus in executions in the US following a botched procedure in Oklahoma that left a death-row prisoner writhing in agony before he died.
After getting clearance from the Supreme Court, Florida put to death John Henry, 63, who killed his wife and a five-year-old.
Henry, on death row for three decades, received a cocktail of medications and was declared dead at 0043 GMT, prisons spokeswoman Jessica Cary said.
He was the 23rd inmate executed this year in the United States, which allows individual US states to decide if they will use capital punishment, and implement it if they choose it.
On Tuesday and early Wednesday one execution was carried out in Georgia and another in Missouri. Both — also by lethal injection — came after last-minute appeals were rejected by the US Supreme Court.
In the first of them, Marcus Wellons, 58, convicted of the 1989 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl, was put to death shortly before midnight in the southern state of Georgia, a spokesman for the prison system said.
In the second case, John Winfield, 43, convicted of killing two women, was executed in the central state of Missouri.
They were the first since the bungled April 29 execution in Oklahoma that provoked accusations of torture.
Clayton Lockett, a convicted killer and rapist, was put to death by lethal injection in a process that took 43 minutes, well over the usual time of a little over 10 minutes.
He was seen writhing in pain, bucking off the gurney and mumbling unintelligibly in a spectacle that drew widespread condemnation, even from President Barack Obama.
Obama, who backs the death penalty for heinous crimes, condemned the incident as “deeply troubling.”
He ordered Attorney General Eric Holder, who is seeking the death penalty in the Boston Marathon bombings case, to conduct a policy review of how the death penalty is applied in the United States.