Georgia to carry out first US execution in seven months

GeorgiaWashington - The US state of Georgia is set to execute William Earl Lynd on Tuesday, the first use of the death penalty in the United States in more than seven months.

The execution comes after the Supreme Court last month upheld the right of states to use lethal injections, which opponents argued were unconstitutional and amounted to "cruel and unusual punishment."

Lawyers for the 53-year-old Lynd, convicted of killing two women in 1988, have a applied for a last-minute stay of execution that was being heard Monday by Georgia's Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

There had been a effective nationwide moratorium on executions since the Supreme Court in September elected to take up the death penalty case, which involved a three-drug concoction used to execute inmates in Kentucky.

The court last month ruled that Kentucky's lethal injection method - used by most states - did not violate the US constitution, but left the door open for future court action.

Since the Supreme Court decision, 14 inmates have been scheduled to be executed in the coming months, including the two inmates at the centre of the Kentucky case. (dpa)