Death row inmate Clarence Dixon died early Wednesday in Arizona, which performed its first execution in nearly eight years.

Prior to his execution, the US Supreme Court had denied an eleventh-hour request from lawyers who said that he had schizophrenia and should not be put to death, reported ABC News.

The 66-year-old was executed by lethal injection. At 10.19 a.m., the drugs were administered and he was declared dead officially at 10.30 a.m. The Associated Press reported that after the drugs were injected, his mouth stayed open and his body did not move. He turned down the option of being killed in the gas chamber after Arizona refurbished its chamber in late 2020, according to The Guardian.

In connection with the death of Arizona State University student Deana Bowdoin, 21, in 1978, he was convicted of murder and sexual assault. For decades, the case went unsolved until DNA connected Dixon to the murder in 2001. In 2008, he was convicted and sentenced to death.

Last Friday, a judge had ruled that he was mentally fit to be put to death. Before a doctor administered the drugs for the lethal injection, he gave his last words. Dixon reportedly said in part, "Maybe I'll see you on the other side, Deana. I don't know you and I don't remember you." He also reportedly said that he knew "you're seeing this, Deana. You know I didn't kill you."

Since the execution of Joseph Wood in 2014, this was Arizona's first use of the death penalty.

Following the execution, Leslie James, who is Bowdoin's sister, gave a statement to the press. She said that it was her late mother's wish that her sister's name be remembered. James said of the decades-long case that it was "way too long."

She described her sister as "kind and hard-working." She said that after her sister's death, she found a notebook. It was of her sister and she realized that she wrote "amazing poetry." James said that her sister was the one who was supposed to have an "exciting career, get married and produce grandkids for my mom." She added that it didn't work out that way for her, and that the two should have been "able to grow old together."

Representation image. Pixabay.