Marcus Ray Johnson Executed in Georgia for 1994 Murder

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By Alex Johnson

Marcus Ray Johnson became the first person to be executed in Georgia on Thursday night since Kelly Renee Gissendaner was put to death despite pleas for mercy from Pope Francis.

Georgia death row inmate Marcus Ray Johnson.Georgia Department of Corrections via AP — file

Johnson, 50, was convicted in April 1998 in the stabbing death of Angela Sizemore of Albany, Georgia, whom he'd picked up in a bar in March 1994. The Georgia Department of Corrections said he was executed at 10:11 p.m. ET at the state prison in Jackson.

Johnson declined a final prayer and refused to record a final statement, the state said.

The state Supreme Court denied Johnson's request Thursday to delay his execution for 90 days to allow for additional DNA testing. Johnson's lawyers claimed that while he admitted having had sex with Sizemore, there wasn't enough evidence to tie him to the killing.

Related: Georgia Inmate Marcus Ray Johnson Denied Beer as Last Meal

It's the first time Georgia has carried out an execution since Gissendaner, a 47-year-old graduate of the prison system's theology program, was killed by lethal injection on Sept. 30.

That case drew worldwide attention after the pope urged the state parole board to spare her life.

Related: Georgia Woman Kelly Gissendaner Sings 'Amazing Grace' During Execution