Texas: the first US execution in 2017

A prisoner was sentenced to death and executed on Wednesday by administrating a lethal injection in Texas. It was the first execution in the US in 2017, taking place amid ongoing controversy on the substances used for executions, according to AFP.

Christopher Wilkins was found guilty of a double murder committed in 2005 after a dispute that started at a dose of cocaine purchased for $ 20. The 48-year-old man was declared dead at 6:29 p.m. (0:29 GMT, on Thursday) in a prison in Huntsville, said the spokesman of the prison in a press release.

Texas is the state with the most executions in the US, although last year it was surprisingly exceeded by Georgia in the context of a general trend of decrease in the number of executions, numbering only 20 in 2016.

Since reintroducing the capital punishment in the US in 1976, in Texas were executed 539 prisoners in total.

The southern US state registered, as other countries also did, a shortage of substances used in lethal injections, because most pharmaceutical companies in the European areas have declined the supply. Last week, the Texas authorities have filed a complaint in court against the FDA, Federal Agency for Food and Drug, reproaching them the confiscation of lethal products.

Of the 1,337 executions carried out since 1976 in the US, the state of Texas proved to be the most prolific in this regard, totaling more than one-third of the total.

Back in 2014, in front of the prison in Huntsville occurred several protests regarding dropping the death penalty. The protestants carried banners with different messages: ‘Stop the executions in Texas’, ‘Execute justice, not people’, ‘The death penalty is racist’.