Missouri has just carried out the death penalty by lethal injection for the seventh time this year, almost two weeks after the botched execution in Arizona raised some serious concern about the lethal injection, its efficiency and capital punishment in the United States.
It was declared by the Missouri Department of Corrections that Michael Worthington, age 43, was pronounced dead on Wednesday at 12.11 a.m. CDT. Chris Koster, Missouri Attorney General has confirmed the man’s death.
Missouri hasn’t executed an inmate since July 23. On that date, Joseph Wood took two hours and 15 lethal injections to die. Wood’s laborious death was the third of its kind this year. The fact that it took three hours for him to die, which is highly uncommon, has brought the death penalty into the spotlight. Worthington was convicted for raping and killing a woman in the suburbs of St. Louis in 1995.
An appeal for Worthington’s attorneys was denied by a federal appeals court on August 1. The appeal was asking for a stay of execution. The main argument was that the inmate had the right to know about the drugs that would be used to kill him, but the appeal was not approved. Another similar request was denied on July 31. Last minute appeals made by Worthington were denied by both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Governor of Missouri.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg declined to make any predictions about how the court would react to an appeal in the wake of Wood’s two hour death.
The largest numbers of executions since 1999 is expected to be carried out in 2014 by Missouri, which is now on the number three position as the state with the most executions. Texas has the most executions, closely followed by Florida. The reason why Missouri has evaded the controversies that the other states have faced is that it uses only one drug in their lethal injections and it has since 2011.
Other states have been experimenting with combination of drugs, almost all of them being untested on people, because pharmaceutical companies have stopped permitting states to use their products for executions. This caused a real drug shortage that led states to make their own concoctions.
What are your thoughts on this news? Have you read about the Worthington case? Did he deserve to die? Do any of the inmates truly deserve to die? What are your thoughts on the death penalty? Share them with us in the comment section below.