California executed Clarence Ray Allen, its oldest condemned prisoner, by lethal injection early on Tuesday at San Quentin State Prison after last-ditch court appeals for a stay of execution failed.
Allen, who turned 76 on Monday and was legally blind, used a wheelchair and suffered from diabetes and chronic heart disease, had been sentenced to death for ordering the murders of three people in 1980 while serving a life sentence for murder in California’s Folsom Prison.
The time of death was 12:38 a.m. (3:38 a.m. EST/0838 GMT)
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Monday pleas to spare Allen’s life. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer issued a dissenting statement, citing Allen’s age, bad health and the fact he had been on death row for 23 years as reasons to stay the execution.
Allen was the oldest person ever executed in California and the second-oldest man executed in the United States in recent decades. Last month, Mississippi executed a 77-year-old convicted murderer.
Allen’s lawyers had sought to block his execution, arguing to state and federal courts that carrying out his death sentence would be cruel and unusual because of his frail health.