56-year-old man executed in Missouri after legal marathon

“Tonight justice has been served,” the governor said in a statement after the execution, saying he was thinking of the relatives of the “innocent victims of Carman Deck’s horrific violence.”

The state of Missouri on Tuesday executed a man sentenced to death three times for a double murder committed more than a quarter of a century ago. Carman Deck, 56, received a lethal injection at 6:10 p.m. in Bonne Terre penitentiary in the central United States, the state prison administration announced.

On Monday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson refused to grant him clemency and commute his sentence to life imprisonment, as demanded by local activists.

“Tonight justice has been served,” the governor said in a statement after the execution, saying he was thinking of the relatives of the “innocent victims of Carman Deck’s horrific violence.”

The United States Supreme Court also rejected a final appeal by his lawyers on Monday, making him the 5th convict executed in the United States since January 1.

Carman Deck has always admitted responsibility

In 1996, Carman Deck killed an elderly couple, James and Zelma Long, in suburban St. Louis. He always admitted his responsibility for the crime.

According to the newspaper Kansas City Star, whose editorial writers pleaded for his sentence to be commuted, the Missouri Supreme Court in 2002 overturned the verdict of a first trial, on the grounds that his lawyers had poorly defended him. In particular, they had failed to expose his difficult childhood in foster families.

The Supreme Court of the United States had invalidated in 2005 a second trial, where he had been presented with restraints on the feet, wrists and abdomen likely to influence the perception of jurors.

In 2008, he received the death penalty in a third trial, but the sentence was overturned in 2017 by a federal judge, on the grounds that all available evidence had not been presented to jurors. An appeals court, however, restored the ruling in 2020, a ruling later upheld by the state Supreme Court.

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