Missouri inmate Michael Worthington was put to death Wednesday for raping and killing a college student in 1995, making him the first U.S. prisoner put to death since an Arizona lethal injection went wrong last month.
Worthington was sentenced to death after he raped and killed 24-year-old Melinda “Mindy” Griffin during a burglary at her Lake St. Louis condominium. A doctor who examined Worthington noted that he showed a "pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years" and that his examination revealed "unlawfulness, deceit, impulsivity, irritability and aggression as indicated by fights and assaults, reckless disregard for safety, failure to sustain consistent work behavior, and lack of remorse."
Attorneys had pressed the U.S. Supreme Court to put off the execution, arguing that one Arizona execution and two others in Ohio and Oklahoma had gone wrong. They also cited an execution case in Missouri, which included secrecy involving the drugs used for the lethal injection.
Worthington had predicted that the nation’s high court and Gov. Jay Nixon would not prevent the execution, according to a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
The 42-year-old was proven correct when the Supreme Court and Nixon declined to block the execution on Tuesday.
Nixon called Worthington’s crimes “horrific” and noted that there is not doubt of his guilt.
“I’m just accepting of whatever’s going to happen because I have no choice,” Worthington said. “The courts don’t seem to care about what’s right or wrong anymore.”
Worthington was executed by lethal injection at the state prison and was pronounced dead at 12:11 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Worthington was the seventh Missouri inmate executed this year.