Delaware carried out its 15th execution since 1992 on Friday at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.
Robert Jackson III, 38, was put to death by a lethal injection shortly after midnight and was pronounced dead at 12:12 a.m.
Jackson was sentenced to death for the murder of 47-year-old Elizabeth Girardi. In the year 1992, Jackson, then 18, along with an accomplice were burgling Girardi's (47) house for money to buy marijuana. When they were about to leave the house with stolen goods Girardi walked in on them. Sensing the situation Jackson's accomplice managed to escap while Jackson bludgeoned Girardi to death with an axe.
At their trial Jackson's accomplice testified against him and pleaded guilty to conspiracy and theft. He was released in 1996.
After being on the death row for some 18 years when Jackson was finally executed on Friday, his last words were addressed to Girardi's children who he said had every right to be angry at him, according to the Associated Press.
Jackson was given the death sentence by two different juries. Since his was the first execution to be carried out with pentobarbital as an execution drug, his lawyers argued that he should be allowed to challenge the execution on grounds that it posed a risk and suffering, added the report.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell denied requests to stay the execution, added the report.
"Mr. Jackson's death sentence was recommended by a jury, imposed by a judge, and reviewed by state and federal appellate courts at all levels," the governor said in a statement issued at 12:12 a.m. local time, shortly after the death of Jackson.
"It is my prayer that his victim (Giradi) rests in peace and her family finds some closure, May God have mercy on Mr. Jackson," Markell said.
Jackson's execution is the first execution to be carried out in Delaware since 2005.
Prior to 1986 Delaware carried out executions by hanging till the Delaware General Assembly enacted a legislation that required lethal injection to be the method of execution in Delaware. Persons sentenced to death prior to the enactment of the law were given the choice of choosing their method of execution.
Jackson's execution is the 30th in the U.S. this year. Many groups like Amnesty International have been strongly against the death penalty. As of 2010, 96 countries had abolished death penalty for all crimes and more than two thirds of the countries in the world had abolished the death penalty in law or practice, says Amnesty.
In the U.S., still 34 states, the Federal Government and the US Military permit capital punishment.