Georgia has executed a man convicted of murder despite one of the jurors in his trial saying “that’s what that n***** deserved”.
Kenneth Fults, who was black, was given a lethal injection of pentobarbital on Tuesday at the state prison in Jackson.
The 47-year-old inmate admitted killing a white neighbour, 19-year-old Cathy Bounds, during a burglary 20 years ago.
On Tuesday, the nation’s highest court rejected a last-minute petition by Fults’ lawyers for a stay of execution.
The one-sentence statement said the case had been presented to Justice Clarence Thomas, who is African-American.
The petition asked the court to consider Fults’ claim that a member of the jury who imposed his death sentence was racially biased.
The juror, Thomas Buffington, wrote in a 2005 sworn affidavit: “I don’t know if (Fults) ever killed anybody, but that n***** got just what should have happened.
“Once he pled guilty, I knew I would vote for the death penalty because that’s what that n***** deserved.”
Buffington, who died in 2014, was asked if he had any racial prejudices before he was allowed to serve on the jury, and he said no.
Fults’ lawyers also said his defence attorney slept through part of his trial and did not seem interested in making the best case for his client.
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday declined to grant clemency to the inmate.
Fults broke into the trailer next to his in January 1996 and wrapped electrical tape around Ms Bounds’ head as she begged for her life and offered up her jewellery.
He put her face-down on the bed and shot her five times in the back of the head.
The murder came at the end of a week-long crime spree which saw Fults commit a series of robberies.
Fults is the fourth person executed in Georgia this year.