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Convicted double murderer executed in Missouri


A Missouri man convicted of murdering his cousin and her husband was executed in Missouri, despite widespread calls for his life to be spared.

Brian Dorsey, 52, was pronounced dead at 6.11pm Central Time (12.11am Irish time) following lethal injection for the 2006 murders of Sarah Bonnie, 25, and her husband Ben Bonnie, 28, in New Bloomfield, Missouri.

Dorsey pleaded guilty to shooting the couple with a shotgun after they took him in for the night to protect him from drug dealers who were trying to collect on a debt.

The Bonnies’ four-year-old daughter, who was in the house at the time of the murders, was unharmed.

In a petition to the Supreme Court asking for a stay of execution, Dorsey’s lawyers said his is “the rare case where a person facing an imminent execution unquestionably is fully rehabilitated.

“Brian Dorsey committed the offense during a drug-induced psychosis,” they said. “During Mr. Dorsey’s many years on death row, removed from the circumstances that led to his psychosis, he has been rehabilitated.”

Among those seeking clemency were Missouri Roman Catholic bishops and 70 correctional officers from the prison where Dorsey has been incarcerated for the past 17 years.

“Generally, we believe in the use of capital punishment,” the correctional officers said in a letter to Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican.

“But we are in agreement that the death penalty is not the appropriate punishment for Brian Dorsey,” they said.

Former Missouri Supreme Court chief justice Michael Wolff, several Republican Missouri lawmakers and five of the jurors who handed down Dorsey’s death sentence have also urged clemency.

There have been four other executions in the United States this year, including one in Alabama that was the first using nitrogen gas.

The three others – in Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas – were carried out by lethal injection.

Another execution by lethal injection had been scheduled to take place in Idaho in February but was halted after a medical team was unable to insert an intravenous line.

Capital punishment has been abolished in 23 US states, while the governors of six others – Arizona, California, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Tennessee – have put a hold on its use.

There were 24 executions in the United States in 2023, all of them carried out by lethal injection.


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