Georgia death row inmate becomes 1,500th person to be executed since US brought back death penalty

Lily Puckett

The United States has executed the 1,500th person since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to a database keeping track of executions.

Marion Wilson Jr was killed by lethal injection at 9.52pm on Thursday at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia after the US Supreme Court denied a stay of execution.

The state’s Department of Corrections confirmed his death. According to their press release, he was the 73rd person executed in Georgia since 1976, and the 51st put to death by lethal injection.

Nationally, lethal injection counts for 1,323 of the 1,500 deaths, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre.

In 1997, WIlson was convicted along Robert Earl Butts Jr in the March 1996 slaying of 24-year-old Donovan Corey Parks.

Prosecutors said Parks, a stranger to the two men, was killed after agreeing to give the two men a ride outside a Walmart in rural Georgia.

Butts was sentenced to death as well; his death by lethal injection was fulfilled last year.

The state’s Department of Corrections says Wilson was given a final statement and a prayer before the state administered deadly injection of pentobarbital.

"I ain't never took a life in my life," Wilson said.

To his friends and family he added: "I love y'all forever. Death can't stop it. Can't nothing stop it."

Outside the prison where Wilson's death was administered, protestors of the death penalty held signs that read "1,500 executions and counting. Abolish the death penalty."

Around 2,500 prisoners currently face the death penalty in America. The largest numbers are in California (740), Florida (354), and Texas (228).