A man accused of murdering a woman he’d met at a nightclub in 1994 was put to death in Georgia Thursday night, following a series of eleventh-hour attempts to delay his death.
According to the Associated Press, 50-year-old Marcus Ray Johnson was executed by lethal injection at 10:11 p.m., after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his appeal for a stay of execution. No reason was given for their decision.
In March 1994, Johnson met a woman named Angela Sizemore in Albany, where witnesses say they saw the two kissing. Johnson denied the allegations, saying that the pair had sex in a vacant lot and then that, during an argument, he punched her. He claimed that he then went home and passed out on his front lawn.
The next morning, prosecutors say that Sizemore’s body was found stabbed 41 times with a knife and sexually assaulted her with a pecan branch.
Earlier this week, an attorney for Johnson asked the court for a 90-day delay for the execution, arguing that additional DNA testing on bloody sand near where the body was found could prove Johnson innocent in the case. The County District Attorney Greg Edwards, however, said there were no doubts about the accuracy of the case.
Johnson is the fourth person to be executed in Georgia this year. The state is third in the country for executions in 2015, behind Missouri (six) and Texas (thirteen). Those numbers may go down in coming years, however: the death penalty in America is dying its own slow and tortured death.