Jessica Taloney - Alabama Governor Kay Ivey quickly reacted to the execution of Robert Melson.
Melson was executed at 10:27 p.m. Thursday at Holman Prison in Atmore for the 1994 murders of three Popeye's Chicken employees in Gadsden, Alabama.
The governor's office released the following statement:
"As governor, I do not relish the responsibility that I hold related to executions of those convicted of capital murder in this state. However, it is my duty and my charge, on behalf of the people of Alabama, to ensure that justice is done, by both the victims and the convicted.
"I have given the facts of this case and Mr. Melson's request for clemency the highest level of scrutiny and review. After carefully considering the nature of this crime, a triple-murder in a public restaurant, the evidence presented to and considered by a jury, and the mitigating factors presented by Mr. Melson, I determined that justice and the law of this state required me to deny his clemency petition and to allow the punishment to be carried out.
"Mr. Melson murdered three people and attempted to murder a fourth, while the victims were trying to do their best to earn a living and provide for their families. Our court system has done its job in this matter and his convictions have been upheld. Accordingly, the laws of this state have been carried out. It is my prayer that, with tonight's events, the victims' families can finally have closure."