BONNE TERRE, Mo. — The execution of 56-year-old Carman Deck was carried out by the state of Missouri Tuesday.   

Deck was convicted of killing an innocent De Soto couple in 1996.  Following the execution at the state’s correction facility on Bonne Terre, a statement on behalf of Governor Mike Parson was read by Anne Precythe, director of the Missouri Department of Corrections.  

This undated photo shows Carman Deck. (Missouri Department of Corrections via AP File)

“James and Zelma long were innocent victims of Carman Deck’s heinous violence,” she said.  “Tonight, justice was served.  The Department of Corrections carried out the sentence recommended by the jury and ordered by the court. our thoughts remain with the victim’s family members and hope that they can find closure.”  

Deck released a final statement making no mention of the murders.  The handwritten note expressed hope the world will find peace someday and closed with the words, “Please give love, show love, BE LOVE!” 

Family members of the Longs chose not to release a statement. 14 family members traveled to Bonne Terre to witness the execution.  

Members of Missourians for alternatives to the death penalty held demonstrations in several parts of the city on Tuesday.   One of the demonstrators was Michelle Smith, the group’s director of community engagement and outreach. 

“Killing someone because they killed someone does not sound very sound in stopping killing,” she said.

Smith said it’s often someone who is poor or has underlying issues who ends up on the receiving end of a death sentence. Deck’s death sentence was overturned three times before the execution was carried out more than 25 years after the Longs were murdered.  

Read Deck’s final note below: