Arkansas has executed Ledell Lee in the US state’s first use of the death penalty in 12 years.
It came after the US Supreme Court rejected a challenge arguing Arkansas was unfairly rushing several executions before its supply of a lethal injection drug expires at the end of April.
On Thursday the state’s Supreme Court overturned a ruling blocking the use of a different drug.
Lee was convicted of murder and recently told the BBC he was innocent.
Arkansas plans to carry out two more executions on Monday, and one next Thursday.Ar
He was pronounced dead at 23:56 local time on Thursday (04:56 GMT on Friday) at the state’s death chamber in its Cummins Unit prison, a Department of Corrections spokesman said. His death warrant was due to expire at midnight.
Lee did not make a final statement. Instead of a last meal, he asked to receive communion, an official said, adding that he was given grape juice or water rather than sacramental wine.
Lee did not appear to suffer as the drugs took effect, according to a reporter selected to serve as a media witness.
Inset Picture is that of The eight men that Arkansas plans to execute.
Bruce Ward – Strangled teenage shop clerk Rebecca Doss
Don Davis – Condemned for the execution-style killing of Jane Daniel as he burgled her home
Stacey Johnson – Murdered Carol Heath, who was beaten, strangled and had her throat slit
Ledell Lee – Bludgeoned Debra Reese to death with a tyre iron her husband had given her for protection
Jack Jones – Condemned for the rape and murder of accounts clerk Mary Phillips, and the nearly fatal beating of her 11-year-old daughter
Marcel Williams – Raped and murdered Stacey Erickson, after kidnapping her from a convenience store
Kenneth Williams – Murdered farmer Cecil Boren during an escape from prison where Williams had been incarcerated for murdering cheerleader Dominique Hurd