US Child Rapist, Murderer Executed With Drug That Gives "Torturous Pain"

Billy Ray Irick currently on death row at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville Tenn

Billy Ray Irick currently on death row at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville Tenn

Irick was put to death for the 1985 rape and murder of 7-year-old Paula Dyer.

Billy Ray Irick, on death row for raping and killing a 7-year-old girl in 1985, appears in a Knox County criminal courtroom in August 2010.

Irick was asked if he had any final words before the lethal injection drugs began working, CBS News reported. Then he started snoring and two minutes later he turned dark purple. Central time, and Irick was declared dead at 7:48.

"I just want to say I'm really sorry".

A minute later, his eyes closed. An attendant began yelling "Billy" and checked the inmate and grabbed his shoulder, but there didn't seem to be any reaction.

The blinds between a witness room and the execution chamber were opened at 7:26 p.m. and Irick could be seen through glass windows strapped to a gurney, an IV stuck in his arm and leading back through the wall to a room hidden by a mirror-window, where someone administered the drugs.

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan denied a request to stay Irick's execution.

Last month, authorities in Nevada were hours away from carrying out the country's first execution using fentanyl when a judge called it off due to a challenge from Alvogen, a drug company.

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It was the first execution in Tennessee since December 2009, when inmate Cecil Johnson received a lethal injection for the killings of three people during a 1980 convenience store robbery in Nashville.

On Monday, the state Supreme Court also had refused to block Irick's execution, saying the lawsuit filed by inmates involving the execution drugs wasn't likely to succeed.

Irick became the 15th inmate executed this year in the United States and the first in Tennessee since 2009.

"I can not in good conscience join in this "rush to execute" without first seeking every assurance that our precedent permits such results.if the law permits this execution to go forward in spite of the horrific final minutes that Irick may well experience, then we stopped being a civilized nation and accepted barbarism".

Casting the lone dissenting vote in the Supreme Court's decision denying Irick a reprieve, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that if midazolam does not work, an inmate could suffer harm in violation of constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishments.

Fifty-nine-year-old inmate Billy Ray Irick is scheduled to receive a three-drug injection Thursday evening.

Irick had been a lodger at the home where the girl lived with her mother, stepfather and siblings and was babysitting her at the time. And last week, Pope Francis revealed new Catholic church teaching that deems the death penalty "inadmissible" under all circumstances. Thursday's application for a stay of execution followed a lower state court determination that the new combination of drugs may not be not chemically appropriate.

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