"Florida man becomes 3rd executed in US in 24 hours," is the Associated Press report filed by Kareem Copeland.
Florida on Wednesday executed a Tampa-area man who murdered his estranged wife and her young son in 1985, two years after he had been paroled for killed his previous spouse.
It is the third U.S. execution in less than 24 hours since a botched April lethal injection in Oklahoma.
John Ruthell Henry, 63, was pronounced dead at 7:43 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection for the stabbing death of Suzanne Henry in Pasco County. He also was convicted in Hillsborough County of stabbing her 5-year-old son, Eugene Christian, near Plant City, hours after the woman's murder.
The U.S. Supreme Court and a federal appeals court refused last-ditch efforts by Henry's lawyers to block the execution. In recent months, Henry's attorneys have questioned whether his client was mentally stable enough to comprehend his death sentence. But the high court rejected that appeal.
Less than 24 hours earlier, Georgia and Missouri carried out separate executions. They were the first since the botched Oklahoma execution revived concerns about capital punishment. Neither execution had any noticeable complications, and Henry's execution Wednesday also appeared to go normally.
Georgia and Missouri both use the single drug pentobarbital, a sedative. Florida uses a three-drug combination of midazolam hydrochloride, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride.
The Tampa Bay Times reports, "John Henry, Pasco man who killed wife, boy, is executed," by Jon Silman.
Henry's execution was calm. He refused a last meal and was visited by his family, who did not attend the execution.
In a statement, they said they are grateful for an ending to the decades-long saga.
A group of the victim's family members sat in the front row, in front of a glass window. There were 24 people in the room.
Henry spent his last moments strapped to a bed and draped in a white sheet to his neck. Tubes out of a wall went into his arms. His last words were an apology: He asked for forgiveness in Jesus Christ's name and said if he could take back what he did, he would.
He muttered to himself when the execution began at 7:30, which was delayed because of a last minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. His eyes fluttered and he yawned when the first of the three-drug cocktail took effect. A man shook him to make sure he was unconscious. The sheet stopped rising and falling around 7:34, and his face lost color.
"Florida Inmate Executed For Killing Wife, Child," is by the News Service of Florida, via NorthExcambia.com.
The execution came a day after a divided 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments that the execution should be halted because of questions about whether Henry is intellectually disabled. The arguments centered on a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found Florida had improperly used a “rigid” IQ score of 70 in determining whether Death Row inmates are intellectually disabled, a term that has replaced mentally retarded. The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled earlier that it is unconstitutional to execute people who are intellectually disabled.
Henry’s attorney pointed to a test that showed Henry’s IQ as 78 and suggested that the IQ could be as low as 73. But in a 2-1 decision, the federal appeals court said Henry did not provide adequate evidence that he might be intellectually disabled, with mental-health experts never expressing such an opinion. Also, the majority said the U.S. Supreme Court did not make its recent ruling, known as Hall v. Florida, retroactive to cases on what is known as “collateral” review.
Henry is the 18th person executed by Florida since Scott took office. Death Row inmate Eddie Wayne Davis, 45, is scheduled to be executed July 10.
"Florida becomes the third state in 24 hours to execute an inmate," is the Los Angeles Times report by Matt Pearce.
Tree states, three convicted killers, three executions in a row.
On Wednesday, Florida became the third state in 24 hours to execute an inmate on death row, signaling that capital punishment in the U.S. was clear to continue with the Supreme Court's blessing after a botched execution in Oklahoma in April brought widespread criticism and scrutiny to the practice.
John Ruthell Henry, 63, who had been sentenced to death after killing his wife and her 5-year-old son in 1985, died Wednesday evening after receiving a three-drug lethal injection at the Florida State Prison in Raiford.
Additional coverage includes:
"Third Man in 24 Hours Is Executed in the U.S.," by Maya Rhodan at Time.
"Florida man executed for killing wife and her son," is the Reuters report, via the Guardian.
"Florida holds third U.S. execution in 24-hour period, putting John Ruthell Henry to death," by Frances Burns of UPI.
It was the 23rd execution in an American death penalty state this year; Florida's sixth execution this year. There have been a total of 1,382 post-Furman executions since 1977. Florida has executed 87 men and women since 1979.
Earlier coverage of John Ruthell Henry's case begins at the link.