After an unusual six-week lapse in executions since the botched effort in Oklahoma on April 29, two men could face lethal-injection deaths in Georgia and Missouri tonight or early tomorrow, says USA today. Should the execution of Marcus Wellons go forward at 7 p.m. tonight in Georgia, it would be that state’s first lethal injection using a drug not federally approved. That’s the result of a scramble by Georgia and other states in recent months to obtain drugs necessary for executions.
Wellons, 59, was convicted of the 1989 rape and murder of 5-year-old India Roberts, whom he abducted as she was on her way to a school bus. At 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, Missouri is preparing to execute John Winfield, who blinded the mother of his two children and killed two other women in a 1996 shooting spree. A judge has issued a stay of execution, but prosecutors are seeking to have it lifted in time for Winfield’s execution to proceed. An inmate in Florida is slated to be put to death Wednesday evening. Attorneys for Wellons are moving to block his execution on grounds similar to those raised in other states, arguing that Georgia’s secrecy surrounding the barbiturate it plans to use violates the condemned prisoner’s constitutional rights.