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JACKSON, Ga. -- A Georgia inmate convicted of rape and murder has become the first person to be executed in the U.S. since the botched lethal injection of a prisoner in Oklahoma in April.

Marcus Wellons, 59, was put to death by lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson. In 1993, he was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering 15-year-old India Roberts.

According to the Associated Press, a corrections spokesman says he was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m., more than an hour after the procedure began. The execution seemed to go smoothly with no noticeable complications.

The execution had been set for 7 p.m. Both the Supreme Court of Georgia and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the execution.

Among his appeals was a challenge to the secretive process used by Georgia to obtain lethal injection drugs from unidentified, loosely regulated compounding pharmacies. Georgia uses one drug - the sedative pentobarbital - for executions. Oklahoma uses three.

A small group of protesters gathered outside the state prison saying that while Wellons committed the crime, taking his life would not right that wrong.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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