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article imageU.S. state carries out first execution since Supreme Court ruling

By AFP     Jul 15, 2015 in World

The US state of Missouri executed a death row inmate, the first execution since the country's Supreme Court backed the use of a contested lethal injection drug.

At 1941 local time (0041 GMT Wednesday), David Zink was pronounced dead by lethal injection in Bonne Terre, Missouri, prison spokesman Mike O'Connell said.

Zink, 55, was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a young woman he abducted after a car accident in July 2001. Zink appealed unsuccessfully for a halt in his capital punishment.

The execution was the first since the US Supreme Court gave the green light in June to the use of a controversial sedative in lethal injections after another drug became scarce.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court decided that plaintiffs had failed to show the drug midazolam used in lethal injections had a substantial risk of causing severe pain.

The drug was used in several botched killings, where inmates appeared to suffer for extended periods of time before death.

Zink was the 18th prisoner to be executed this year in the US, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Another execution is scheduled for Thursday in Texas.

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