U.S. makes 11th execution of 2021, least in decades

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Washington (AFP) – A convicted murderer was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on Thursday, the 11th person to be executed in the United States this year, the least in decades.

Bigler Stouffer spent more than 35 years on death row for the 1985 murder of schoolteacher Linda Reaves and the attempted murder of her boyfriend, Doug Ivens.

Stouffer, 79, was executed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester after the Supreme Court and Governor Kevin Stitt rejected last-minute requests to stop the execution.

An Oklahoma Corrections spokesperson said the execution with a cocktail of lethal drugs went without “complications.”

Stouffer was the second person to be executed in Oklahoma this year.

John Grant, 60, also convicted of murder, vomited and had seizures when he was put to death by lethal injection in October, witnesses said.

Grant was the first inmate to be put to death in Oklahoma since 2015, when a series of botched executions led to a temporary moratorium on the death penalty in the state.

The United States Supreme Court overturned the death penalty in 1972, but reinstated the death penalty four years later.

The number of executions carried out each year in the United States has declined in recent years.

The death penalty has been abolished in 23 US states, while three others – California, Oregon and Pennsylvania – have observed a moratorium on its use.

There have been three federal executions in the United States this year and eight state executions: three in Texas, two in Oklahoma, and one in Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri.

No further executions are planned this year, according to the Information Center on the Death Penalty.

There were 17 executions in the United States in 2020, when a number of states suspended the death penalty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Then-President Donald Trump resumed federal executions after a 17-year hiatus, however, and 10 federal inmates were put to death in 2020.

President Joe Biden suspended federal executions after taking office in January.

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