Oklahoma carries out US death row's last execution of 2013

A convicted murderer became the final person to be executed in the United States this year, after being put to death in Oklahoma, authorities said.

Johnny Dale Black, 48, was executed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 6:08 pm (0008 GMT) at Oklahoma State Penitentiary, corrections department spokesman Jerry Massie said.

Massie said the condemned man's final words were: "This isn't accomplishing anything. It's just another death, another family destroyed. I love everybody. I love you -- you can count on that, Mama."

Black's death brings the total number of executions in 2013 to 39, the lowest figure since 37 inmates were put to death in 2008.

Black was sentenced to death in 1999 for the brutal murder of a horse trainer the previous year. He had already been convicted of another killing in 1984.

The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), which campaigns against capital punishment, said the number of executions for 2013 was likely to have dropped by around 10 percent from 2012.

Richard Dieter, director of the DPIC, said support for the death penalty in the United States was at a 40-year low, noting that 18 states were now without capital punishment after Maryland repealed the death penalty.

Since 1976, when capital punishment was reinstated in the United States, some 1,359 people have been executed, including 508 in Texas alone.

The numbers of executed have steadily declined since a spike in 1999, when 98 people were put to death.

The Death Penalty Information Center releases its annual report on Thursday.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have claimed that a similar conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter occurred in October of 7 B.C. Still others have claimed that Jesus was born in the spring, based on stories about shepherds watching over their flocks in fields on the night of Jesus' birth — something they would have done in the spring, not the winter.