Missouri executed Earl Ringo Jr. early Wednesday, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt the inmate’s death by lethal injection.
Ringo received a lethal dose of pentobarbital at 12:22 a.m. local time at the state penitentiary in Bonne Terre for the murder of delivery man Dennis Poyser and manager-in-training Joanna Baysinger during a 1998 robbery of a Ruby Tuesday. He was pronounced dead at 12:31 a.m, according to Mike O'Connell, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Ringo's lawyer had questioned Missouri's use of the sedative midazolam prior to executions, claiming it could dull the inmate's senses, leaving him potentially unable to express any pain.
Late Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to halt the execution. Gov. Jay Nixon also denied a clemency petition.
After Ringo's execution, Nixon in a statement urged Missourians to remember “the two innocent people whose lives were taken through brutal acts of violence.” The execution brought Ringo’s case “to a just conclusion,” Nixon said.
Jama Brown, wife of victim Poyser, said her husband and Baysinger “didn’t deserve what happened to them.”
“There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him or wonder what my life would be like today, not only for myself, but for my kids,” she said at a press briefing. “Please do not make this about how executions shouldn't take place. Put your effort on how we can stop people from committing these terrible actions. If this person hadn't tried to take what wasn't his, he would have been able to live his life.”
Ringo did not order a last meal and instead was served Salisbury steak, macaroni and cheese, salad, vegetables and cake before the execution.
He left a final, written statement quoting from the Quran.
“O my Lord, bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous,” part of the statement said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.