updated 9/16/2008 8:49:15 PM ET 2008-09-17T00:49:15

A man on death row for 33 years has been executed in Georgia for murdering his wife in 1974.

Jack Alderman was pronounced dead Tuesday at 7:25 p.m. EDT at the Georgia State Prison in Jackson.

Alderman was convicted of killing his wife, Barbara. He and an accomplice beat her with a crescent wrench, choked her and left her submerged in bathtub water at their home near Savannah.

Those seeking clemency argued that the 57-year-old had been a model inmate and mentor to other prisoners. They also noted his accomplice was paroled after 12 years.

But David Lock, an assistant district attorney in Chatham County, said Alderman instigated the crime.

"He was more culpable, without him, the crime would not have taken place," Lock said.

Alderman is the third person executed in Georgia since an April U.S. Supreme Court ruling ended a seven-month halt on capital punishment nationwide.

Alderman was just a day away from execution last October when Georgia's top court issued a stay to give the U.S. Supreme Court time to act on a constitutional challenge to lethal injection. Earlier this year, the justices cleared the way for executions to resume when they ruled lethal injection does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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