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Lethal Injection

Missouri Sets State Execution Record After Putting Paul Goodwin to Death

Who Watches Inmate Executions in the U.S.? 0:42

BONNE TERRE, Mo. — A Missouri inmate was put to death early Wednesday for fatally beating a 63-year-old woman with a hammer in 1998, the state's record 10th lethal injection of 2014 to match Texas for the most executions in the country this year.

Paul Goodwin, 48, sexually assaulted Joan Crotts in St. Louis County, pushed her down a flight of stairs and beat her in the head with a hammer. Goodwin was a former neighbor who felt Crotts played a role in getting him kicked out of a boarding house.

Goodwin's execution began at 1:17 a.m., more than an hour after it was scheduled, and he was pronounced dead at 1:25 a.m.

Efforts to spare Goodwin's life centered on his low IQ and claims that executing him would violate a U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibiting the death penalty for the mentally disabled. Attorney Jennifer Herndon said Goodwin had an IQ of 73, and some tests suggested it was even lower.

But Goodwin's fate was sealed when Gov. Jay Nixon denied a clemency request and the U.S. Supreme Court turned down two appeals.

Texas, Missouri and Florida have combined for 28 of the 34 executions in the U.S. this year.

Crotts' daughter, Debbie Decker, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Goodwin deserved no mercy.

"I've been sitting back waiting for this to happen," Decker said of the execution.

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- The Associated Press