HUNTSVILLE (July 18, 2012)—Texas death row inmate Yokamon Hearn, 33, ran out of options Wednesday after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his 11th hour appeal and was executed Wednesday evening in Huntsville for the 1998 carjacking and murder of a Dallas-area stockbroker.
Hearn's execution was the first in Texas in which a single drug, the sedative pentobarbital, was used instead of the three-drug cocktail administered since the state resumed executions in 1982.
Courts have upheld the method in other states and Hearn's appeals didn’t address the drug change.
Hearn was sentenced to die for the March 1998 slaying of Plano stockbroker Frank Merziere, 23, who was abducted while washing his car at a self-service car was, taken to an industrial area of Dallas and shot 10 times in the head.
He took the victim’s wallet and other items and fled in the victim’s vehicle.
Hearn showed no obvious unusual reaction to the drug as the lethal injection began.
He was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m.
Until last year, the state used a combination of the sedative sodium thiopental, the muscle relaxant pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, which stops the heart.
Sodium thiopental was replaced by pentobarbital in 2011 after the drug’s European supplier stopped making it under pressure from death penalty opponents.
Then earlier this month the Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced it would use only pentobarbital because of a shortage of pancuronium bromide.
Pentobarbital is a common anesthetic used in surgeries and by veterinarians.