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Man executed on DNA conviction, decades after crime

11 September 2013, 08:30

Washington - The US state of Oklahoma on Tuesday executed a man convicted of rape and murder, who was connected to the crime 18 years later after advances in DNA technology.

Anthony Banks, aged 61, was declared dead by lethal injection at 18:07 (2307 GMT) in McAlester, according to Jerry Massie, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Banks received a death sentence in 1999 for the murder of South Korean woman Sun "Kim" Travis, who was kidnapped from her Tulsa apartment parking lot on 6 June 1979.

Travis, who was 24, was found raped and shot in the head several kilometres from her home, according to court documents.

The case remained unsolved for nearly two decades until 1997 when investigators made charges based on DNA samples taken from Travis's body and clothes, investigated using new techniques.

The DNA evidence linked Banks and another man, Allen Nelson, to the crime.

Nelson was sentenced to life in prison, but Banks, who was already serving life in prison for the 1978 murder of a convenience store clerk, was handed the death penalty on 22 November 1999.

Banks's execution was the 24th in the US this year and the 4th in Oklahoma.

Since capital punishment was reinstated in the US in 1976, Oklahoma has executed 106 criminals, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre.

A Pennsylvania execution scheduled for Tuesday for Harve Johnson, aged 32, was stalled on procedural grounds.

Johnson was sentenced to death in 2009 for beating to death a two-year-old girl.

No one has been executed in Pennsylvania since 1999.


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