Carman Deck was executed last night but not before the double murderer’s used his final words to wish for "world peace".
Deck was given a lethal injection at 6pm local time at a jail in Bonne Terre, Missouri. After his death, Anne Precythe, director of the Missouri Department of Corrections, said: "Tonight, justice was served”.
The killer's road to Death Row was long and controversial. In 1996, when he was aged 30, Deck was accused of robbing James and Zelma Long before shooting them execution-style with a .22 caliber pistol.
He had targeted the couple after hearing that they had money and valuables in a safe in their bedroom.
Deck had originally planned to break into the Longs' home on a Sunday while the Longs were at church, but in the end staged a “home invasion” robbery by knocking on their door and asking for directions.
He forced the Longs to lie on their bed at gunpoint. As they begged for their lives he ordered Mrs Long to open the safe , and she handed over a quantity of jewellery. The couple told Deck where cash was hidden in the house and he took that too.
Then, after a ten-minute period while the terrified couple lay on the bed while Deck decided what to do, the killer put the gun to Mr. Long's head and fired twice. The bullets entered just above his ear and just behind his forehead. Then Deck put the gun to Mrs. Long's head and shot her twice, once in the back of the head and once above the ear.
Deck was arrested the same day and confessed to the crime, but in court his lawyers argued that the confession was false.
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Two trials collapsed on legal technicalities and Deck was finally sentenced to death in 2008. However, a judge vacated the sentence, accepting an argument from Deck's defence team that there was not enough evidence to warrant a death sentence.
However, in 2020 an appeal court overturned that decision and Deck was again on Death Row.
After a “surf and turf” last meal, Deck died on Tuesday (May 3) after Missouri Governor Mike Parson refused a final plea for clemency.
In a final statement, Deck wrote: He wrote: “My hope is that one day the world will find peace and that we all will learn to be kind and loving to one another.
“We all are a part of this journey through life, connected in every way. Please give love, show love, BE LOVE!”
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Right up until the last minute Elizabeth Carlyle, Deck’s lawyer, said that executing him would be "unjust and immoral," saying Deck "endured a pattern of abuse, neglect and abandonment” during his childhood, which was a strong mitigating factor.
Relatives of Deck’s victims witnessed the execution, but none of his own family were present, according to a corrections department spokesperson.
Deck's execution was the fifth in the US this year in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre.
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