© 2021 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Other

Inmate was strapped down for three hours during execution delay

1702961-2099951644.jpg
Vernon Brown died at 2:35 Wednesday morning (UPI photo)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Missouri's Department of Corrections is defending its handling of an inmate executed early Wednesday.

Vernon Brown spent three hours strapped to a gurney in Missouri's death chamber as the U.S. Supreme Court weighed his eleventh-hour appeals. The Supreme Court eventually lifted its stay, and Brown was executed about 2:30 a.m.

Death penalty opponents decried the fact that Brown spent three hours strapped down, calling that inhumane and further proof that capital punishment is unnecessarily cruel.

But a spokesman for the prison system says Brown never complained of discomfort while strapped down, and he actually slept part of the time after taking a sedative he earlier had declined.

Brown was executed for the 1986 killing of nine-year-old Janet Perkins in St. Louis.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.