Cobb man’s execution 1st since botched injection
by Kate Brumback, Associated Press
June 18, 2014 04:00 AM | 4002 views | 4 4 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marcus Wellons
Marcus Wellons
India Roberts
India Roberts
JACKSON — A Georgia inmate convicted of rape and murder has become the first person to be executed in the U.S. since the botched lethal injection of a prisoner in Oklahoma in April.

Fifty-nine-year-old Marcus Wellons was executed by injection Tuesday night after last-minute appeals were denied. A corrections spokesman says he was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m., more than an hour after the procedure began. The execution seemed to go smoothly with no noticeable complications.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday denied clemency and Wellons’ lawyers filed a number of legal challenges and appeals seeking to halt his execution. The state Supreme Court also rejected his appeal Tuesday evening.

A federal judge did approve a request by Wellons’ lawyers to have an anesthesiologist they selected witness the execution. Wellons’ lawyers argued that the state’s refusal to provide information about the drug made it impossible to mount a successful challenge based on the Eighth Amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment.

The doctor’s testimony about what he sees in Wellons’ execution could be used to support a similar challenge by another inmate, Wellons’ lawyers argue.

Among his appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court was a challenge to the secretive process used to obtain the drugs from unidentified, loosely regulated compounding pharmacies.

Georgia uses one drug for executions, whereas Oklahoma uses three. Like many other states, Georgia has had trouble obtaining execution drugs in recent years because major drugmakers, many based in Europe where opposition to capital punishment is strong, began refusing to sell their products if they were to be used in executions.

The Georgia Department of Corrections confirmed last week that it had secured the pentobarbital for Wellons’ execution from a compounding pharmacy, which custom-makes drug preparations.

Tuesday’s execution marked the first time the state used a compounded drug in an execution, though other states have done so. Georgia also used a compounding pharmacy last July to get pentobarbital for an execution that ultimately was delayed. That drug expired a month later. The state declined to identify the compounding pharmacy, citing a 2013 law that prohibits the disclosure of the identity of any entity involved in an execution.

India Roberts, a high school sophomore from Cobb County, was killed the morning of Aug. 31, 1989, after she said goodbye to her mother and left for school.

Not long afterward, a neighbor heard muffled screams from inside the nearby apartment of Gail Saunders, authorities said.

Authorities say Wellons had been dating Saunders and lived with her at her apartment near Vinings in the summer of 1989.

Later that afternoon, a man driving near a wooded area by the apartment complex called police saying he had seen a man carrying what appeared to be a body in a sheet.

Police found Roberts’ naked body in the woods with cuts on one side of her face and ear, and bruises on her neck.

Authorities later searched Saunders’ apartment and found Roberts’ notebooks and earrings. In a bedroom, they found Roberts’ underwear and blood on the mattress.

Evidence suggested Wellons forcibly brought Roberts from the kitchen to the bedroom and strangled her, authorities said. An autopsy indicated she had been raped.

A jury found Wellons guilty of rape and murder and recommended the death penalty in 1993.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Too Long
June 19, 2014
Just why did it take 21 years to execute this piece of trash???

Lets change the rules, you get the death penalty, you get 1 chance at appeal and it has to be filed within 30 days of your sentencing, the Court has 90 days to review and make a decision. If it's up held you get 7 days to get your affairs in order and on the 8th day you are toast.

This will open up our over crowded jails, cut done on how much the State has to pay to pamper and coddle these jerks, and it may just wake some idiots up that make be planning on doing a similiar crime.

June 18, 2014
The insane liberal media want us to buy into the "botched" word. What an injustice to this victim's loved ones by taking 25 years to exterminate this monster.
Southern Patriot
June 18, 2014
Good riddance! Why did it take so long?
June 18, 2014
Why keep saying the Oklahoma execution was botched? He's dead and that was the goal. Suffer some? Good. These monsters get off esaier than their victims...
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides