US executes 1,500th person since bringing back death penalty in 1976

David Harding
Contributor
Marion Wilson who became the 1,500th person executed in the US since 1976 (Georgia Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS)

The US has carried out its 1,500th execution in the United States since 1976, the year capital punishment was reinstated.

Marion Wilson, 42, was put to death by lethal injection and declared dead at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

Wilson had been convicted of killing an off-duty prison guard, Donovan Parks, in 1996.

The Death Penalty Information Center confirmed he was the 1,500th person to be executed in the 43 years.

Victim Donovan Parks (Reuters)

For his final meal, Wilson, 42, has asked for a medium thin-crust pizza with everything on it, 20 buffalo wings, a pint of butter pecan ice cream, apple pie and grape juice.

He also launched a last minute bid to get his execution stopped.

Wilson killed Parks on March 28, 1996 after the prison guard had visited a Wal-Mart in Milledgeville, Georgia, to purchase cat food.

After he left the store, Wilson and an accomplice, Robert Butts Jr., carjacked him. Wilson pulled the victim by his tie out of the car and onto the pavement and Butts shot him in the head, the records showed.

Marion Wilson (Reuters)

The two tried to sell the car at a shop in Atlanta but were turned down. Afterwards, they set the car on fire.

Butts was put to death in 2018 for the murder.

The first person executed in the US after the reinstatement of the death penalty was convicted killer Gary Gilmore, who died by firing squad in Utah in 1977 after requesting execution.

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Since then, Texas leads all states in executions, with 561, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Wilson was the 10th inmate executed in the United States in 2019 and the second in Georgia, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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