Before being administered a fatal injection in Missouri, a double murderer appealed for the world to discover “love and peace.”
Carman Deck, 56, was put to death at the state jail in Bonne Terre Sunday night, more than 25 years after killing elderly couple James and Zelma Long during a heist in 1996.
As 5 grams of pentobarbital were injected, he mouthed a few inaudible phrases, then puffed out a couple of final breaths before all movement came to a halt.
Deck’s execution, the fifth in the United States this year, was completed in a matter of seconds.
His death sentence had been reversed three times due to procedural flaws, therefore it was a source of debate.
However, Missouri Governor Mike Parson sealed his fate by refusing to grant him clemency on Monday.
‘My goal is that one day the world will find peace, and that we will all learn to be kind and caring to one another,’ Deck wrote in a final written message.
‘The elderly couple were innocent victims of Carman Deck’s horrible actions,’ Governor Parson stated, adding, ‘Tonight, justice was served.’
The grandson of the Longs had a friend named Deck. He was aware that the couple, who were in their late sixties, kept a safe at their house in De Soto, Missouri, near St. Louis.
Deck and his sister stopped at the house in July 1996, ostensibly seeking directions. He wasn’t shocked that they were allowed in.
Deck later told police, ‘They’re country folks.’ ‘They usually do,’ says the narrator.
When Deck entered the room, he drew out a gun, and Zelma Long obeyed his command, opening the safe and removing her jewelry before withdrawing $200 from her pocketbook.
Deck told the couple to lie in their bed on their stomachs. He then stayed there for ten minutes, contemplating his options before killing James Long twice in the head and his wife.
In 1998, he was caught and sentenced to death, but the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the conviction due to errors made by Deck’s trial lawyer.
Deck’s second sentence was overturned by the US Supreme Court in 2005, citing prejudice induced by his shackling in front of the sentencing jury.
In 2008, he was sentenced to death for the third time. District Judge Catherine Perry ruled nine years later that’substantial’ information that may have saved his life during the first two penalty phases was unavailable for the third because witnesses had died, were unable to be contacted, or refused to assist.
The death penalty was reinstated by the Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2020.
Deck’s clemency petition detailed torture he endured as a youth, including welts from beatings and sexual molestation.
Deck’s attorney, Elizabeth Carlyle, stated Deck was raped while in prison for larceny at the age of 19 and that he and his siblings were frequently left without food.
‘This incident changed him from a nonviolent thief to someone who committed two heinous murders,’ Ms Carlyle said. He was executed in a ‘unjust and immoral’ manner, she said.