11 People Were Executed In 2021, Fewest In Three Decades

Of the 11 people executed in 2021, three were federal inmates, three were from Texas, two were from Oklahoma, and there was one each from Missouri, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Photo By: Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Photo By: Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP Images

Photo By: Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Photo By: Alabama Department of Corrections via AP Images

Photo By: Missouri Department of Corrections via AP File

Photo By: Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP Images

Photo By: Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP Images

Photo By: Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP Images

Photo By: savedustinjhiggs.com

Photo By: Death Penalty Information Center

Photo By: Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department via Getty Images

Bigler Jobe "Bud" Stouffer II, 79

Stouffer was executed on December 8 for the 1985 killing of Linda Reaves, a Putnam City, Oklahoma, teacher. According to The Oklahoman, prosecutors said Stouffer was trying to stage a murder-suicide, but Reaves’ boyfriend, Doug Ivens, survived his gunshot wound and identified Stouffer as the shooter. Stouffer maintained his innocence until his death.

David Neal Cox, 50

Mississippi executed its first inmate in nine years when Cox died on November 17. Cox pleaded guilty in 2010 for shooting his ex wife and sexually assaulting her daughter as she lay dying. According to the AP, Cox declared himself “worthy of death” and decided not to continue with any appeals.

John Marion Grant, 60

When Grant was executed on October 28, he became the first Oklahoma inmate executed since 2015. Grant had been scheduled for execution in 2015, but a series of legal challenges were working their way through the courts after concerns were raised about the effectiveness of the lethal injection cocktail. Grant was already in prison in 1998 for a series of armed robberies when he killed a prison kitchen worker, Gay Carter. He was sentenced to death for her murder. Grant’s execution Grant reportedly convulsed and vomited for several minutes as the first drugs were administered to him during the execution.

Willie B. Smith III, 52

Smith offered no last words prior to his October 21 execution in Alabama. He was convicted for the October 1991 murder and kidnapping of Sharma Johnson, the sister of a Birmingham police officer. Smith put Johnson in the trunk of her own car while he used her debit card to withdraw $80 at an ATM. Smith then drove the vehicle to a cemetery, shot Johnson, and set the car on fire.

Ernest Johnson, 61

Johnson’s execution took less than 15 minutes when he was put to death on October 5 in Missouri. He was convicted for the 1994 killing of three Columbia-area convenience store employees with a claw hammer. His attorneys claimed Johnson was intellectually disabled due to being born with fetal alcohol syndrome and that it was unconstitutional to execute him. The Missouri Supreme Court disagreed, giving his death warrant the green light.

Rick Rhoades, 57

Rhoades was the third inmate Texas executed in 2021 when he received a single dose of pentobarbital on September 28. Rhoades had only been out of prison on parole for one day when he killed two brothers in Houston in 1991. When he was arrested for burglary a few weeks later, he confessed to murdering the brothers after an argument. Rhoades offered no last words prior to his execution.

John Hummel, 45

Hummel expressed regret for killing his family while he was strapped to a gurney prior to his June 30 execution in Texas. Hummel was convicted for killing his pregnant wife, their daughter, and his father-in-law in 2009. The bodies were discovered after emergency responders answered a call about a house fire. Hummel was pronounced dead 13 minutes after receiving the fatal dose of pentobarbital.

Quintin Jones, 41

Quintin Jones was executed in Texas in May, 20 years after he killed his 83-year-old great aunt in 2001. He was reportedly on drugs and trying to borrow more money from her and then beat her to death with a baseball bat when she refused. Jones’ family members petitioned the state to commute his sentence to life in prison, saying they’d forgiven him for killing his great aunt. The state declined.

Dustin Higgs, 48

Higgs used his final words to maintain his innocence regarding his triple murder conviction before he was executed on January 16. He was convicted of murdering three women visiting his apartment in 1996 after he reportedly made a romantic pass at one of them. When she refused, he and two friends drove the women to a nearby forest where Higgs told one of his friends to “make sure they’re dead.” The man who pulled the trigger was only sentenced to life in prison.

Corey Johnson, 52

Family members of Johnson’s victims cheered when he was pronounced dead following his execution on January 14. Johnson, who was running a drug trafficking operation, was convicted for killing seven people in gang related violence in Richmond, Virginia in 1992. According to the Associated Press, Johnson’s last statement included an apology that named his victims individually, as well as gratitude to his attorneys and the prison minister.

Lisa Montgomery, 52

Montgomery was the first female on federal death row to be executed in almost 70 years. Montgomery was convicted for murder after she traveled across state lines under the guise of purchasing a pure-bred dog. Instead, prosecutors say she killed the dog breeder, who was eight months pregnant, and then cut the fetus from the woman’s womb and attempted to pass the child off as her own.