WASHINGTON: Two convicted murderers were executed by lethal injection in the United States (US) on Thursday, one in Alabama and one in Texas.
Casey McWhorter, 49, was executed at a prison in Atmore, Alabama, for the 1993 killing of Edward Williams, who was shot to death during a robbery.
McWhorter had just turned eighteen years old at the time of the capital crime.
His two accomplices, one of whom was the son of the killed man, were aged sixteen and fifteen and were spared the death sentence because they were juveniles, according to AFP.
The Alabama Department of Corrections said in a statement that McWhorter was pronounced dead by a physician at 6:56 pm.
Execution in Texas
David Renteria, 53, was put to death at the Texas State Penitentiary in the town of Huntsville for the November 2001 murder of a 5-year-old girl, Alexandra Flores.
He was convicted of kidnapping Flores from a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where she had been Christmas shopping with her parents.
Flores’ burned body was found the next day. She had been strangled to death.
At his trial, Renteria argued he was forced by gang members to dispose of the girl’s body but denied killing her.
On Thursday in his last statement, Renteria pleaded for forgiveness to the relatives of Flores and others whom he had caused pain.
There have been seven death sentences in Texas this year and twenty-one in the United States.
According to a recent Gallup Poll, 53% of Americans support the execustion for someone convicted of murder, the lowest level since 1972.
Capital punishment has been abolished in twenty-three US states, while three others – Oregon, California, and Pennsylvania — have observed a moratorium on its use.
Executions have been carried out in five states this year: Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, and Texas.