Execution of Billy Ray Irick carried out at Nashville's Riverbend prison
The Tennessee Department of Corrections announced that the sentence of Billy Ray Irick was carried out Thursday evening, declaring him dead at 7:48 p.m. from a lethal injection.
Irick became the first death row inmate executed since 2009. He was one of dozens of inmates who filed a lawsuit against the state, declaring that lethal injections were inhumane. A judge ruled against the death row inmates.
The family of the 7-year-old Paula Dyer from Knox County chose not to issue a statement following the execution as did Irick's attorney. Irick was convicted of raping the child twice then killing her.
Media witness Jonathan Mattise of the Associated Press said Irick originally said he did not want to give any last words, then he said he was "I just want to say I'm really sorry, and that...that's it."
Mattise said the process began at 7:26 p.m. and he gave his last words at 7:27 p.m. He also said that Irick turned purple and did not thrash about following the injection.