For some jewelry and $200, James and Zelma Long had to die. Today, approximately 26 years after his death, his murderous double, Carman Deck (56), received a lethal injection at Bonne Terre, Missouri State Penitentiary. Deck is the fifth American executed this year.
WASHINGTON (USA) – As the five grams of pentobarbital coursed through his veins, Carman Deck mumbled some unintelligible words, taking a few deep breaths. Then nothing moved. At 6:10 p.m. sharp on May 3, he was officially declared dead.
“I hope one day the world finds peace and we all learn to be kind and loving to one another,” Deck wrote of his final thoughts in a final written statement. Her wish: “We are all part of this journey through life, connected in every way. Please give love, show love, BE LOVE!”
A day earlier, his execution had finally been sealed by the United States Supreme Court and Republican Governor Mike Parson (66).
Deck’s death sentence has already been overturned three times over procedural issues. In a statement, the Governor said James and Zelma Long were “innocent victims of the heinous violence of Carman Deck” and that “justice was served tonight.”
This is why James and Zelda Long had to die
According to court records, the De Soto, Missouri, USA couple were not accidentally victimized. The attacker, who is himself from Saint-Louis, about 72 kilometers away, was a friend of the grandson of the Longs. He also learned from him that the retired couple in their nearly seventies had a safe in their house.
In July 1996, there was a robbery: Under the guise of asking for directions, Deck and his sister pulled up to the house – and were invited inside. “They’re country people,” Deck said, according to court documents in the investigation. “They still do. Inside the house, the then 30-year-old pulled a gun from his belt, ordered Zelma Long to remove the jewelry and give him all the money. took about $200 out of her purse and more money stashed in a canister.
When he had his prey, he forced the pair to lie face down on their bed. According to court records, Deck sat for 10 minutes thinking about what to do with his hostages. He decided: you must die. Twice he shot James Long in the head before doing the same to Zelma Long. Then he flees.
It was just a tip that brought Deck to the attention of the police, who arrested him that same evening outside his sister’s home in St. Louis County.
Fatal for the killer: He had taken a trophy from the scene of the crime. A long decorative box he had left on the floor of his car.
That’s why his death was postponed three times
Deck was sentenced to death in 1998 for later detailing the murders in a tape-recorded oral and written statement. However, due to various procedural errors made by Deck’s trial attorney, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the verdict.
▶︎ But in 2005, the Supreme Court overturned its second verdict, citing harm caused by Deck being tied up before the sentencing jury.
︎ In 2008, he was sentenced to death for a third time. Nine years later, U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry concluded that “substantial” evidence against the death penalty in Deck’s first two sentences was unavailable for Deck’s third because witnesses had died.
︎ In October 2020, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the death penalty, ruling that Deck should have raised his concerns first in state court instead than a federal court. Appeals against this judgment were unsuccessful.
” data-zoom-src=”https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/eine-aufnahme-zeigt-die-hinrichtungs-raeume-des-staatsgefaengnisses-bonne-terre-wo-carman-deck-eine-to-742d15d97637417993778d6ca5c54d14-79974856/Bild/5.bild.jpg”/> A photo shows the execution rooms of Bonne Terre State Penitentiary, where Carman Deck received a lethal injection Photo: JAMES A. FINLEY/AP
A photo shows the execution rooms of Bonne Terre State Penitentiary, where Carman Deck received a lethal injection Photo: JAMES A. FINLEY/AP
The clemency plea cited abuse he suffered as a child, including beatings that left scars and sexual abuse. Deck’s attorney, Elizabeth Unger Carlyle, said in a statement that he was raped in prison when he was 19 for theft.
“That experience transformed him from a non-violent thief into the person who committed two horrific murders,” Carlyle said. She called his execution “unjust and immoral”.
Four other people have been executed in the United States this year: Donald Anthony Grant and Gilbert Ray Postelle in Oklahoma, Matthew Reeves in Alabama and Carl Wayne Buntio in Texas last month. Eleven people were executed in the United States last year, the fewest since 1988.