Supreme Court Allows First Executions Since Botched Lethal Injection
The Supreme Court denied requests for stays of execution in the cases of Marcus Wellons in Georgia and John Winfield in Missouri. Wellons' execution was first since the botched lethal injection of Clayton Lockett in April and was the first in Georgia to be carried out using a drug not federally approved.
Wellons was sentenced to death in 1989 for the rape and murder of 15-year-old India Roberts, whom he abducted on her way to the school bus. He was executed at approximately 11:56 p.m. EST with an overdose of pentobarbital produced by a compounding pharmacy and manufactured by a company that has not been federally approved.
States that have capital punishment on the books have increasingly turned to compounding pharmacies, which are not heavily regulated, for their execution drugs as more pharmaceutical companies withhold selling their drugs to be used in executions.
Missouri is scheduled to execute John Winfield at approximately 12:01 a.m. CST Wednesday. He also unsuccessfully requested a stay of execution from the Supreme Court. Winfield was sentenced to death after blinding the mother of his children and killing two other women in a 1996 shooting spree.
Both men's lawyers filed appeals demanding information from their states on the drugs being used in their executions (namely where they come from and who produces them), which remain shrouded in mystery.
Florida will execute John Henry at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the murder of his wife in 1985.
[Marcus Wellons, left; John Winfield, right // Images via AP]