An inmate convicted of raping and killing a college student yelled "murderers!" three times as he was put to death by lethal injection in Florida.
On the same day, two death row inmates who were scheduled for execution won last-minute reprieves in Texas and Alabama.
The US Supreme Court was forced to deny a last-minute stay of execution for Eric Scott Branch who raped and murdered University of West Florida student Susan Morris in 1993.
The 47-year-old was pronounced dead at 7.05pm on Thursday (22 February) at Florida State Prison after being executed by lethal injection.
Reports suggested he thrashed about on his stretcher and shouted and screamed before he passed away.
Branch asked Florida Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, both Republican politicians, to carry out the execution themselves before he died.
"Let them come down here and do it. I've learned that you're good people and this is not what you should be doing," Branch said according to the Daily Mail.
Branch then shouted "murderers! murderers! murderers" before falling silent.
Branch was caged 24 years ago after the 21-year-old's naked body was found buried in a shallow grave in Florida, reported Sky News.
The court heard that he attacked Morris in order to steal her car and planned to drive the vehicle back to his home in Indiana, before he was arrested.
"She had been beaten, stomped, sexually assaulted and strangled. She bore numerous bruises and lacerations, both eyes were swollen shut," judges had noted.
Branch was also convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in his home state and of another sexual assault in Panama City, Florida.
A spokesperson for the prison said his last meal consisted of a pork chop, T-bone steak, French fries and two pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
On the same day in Texas, Thomas Whitaker, who planned his mother and brother's murders, had his death sentence commuted, while in Alabama another murderer, Doyle Lee Hamm, had his death sentence postponed.