His execution was the third in the nation this week, following executions in Louisiana and Illinois. Since capital punishment was resumed in the United States in 1976, 281 people have been executed. Georgia ranks fifth in the number of executions.
Devier was scheduled to die Monday, but the U.S. Supreme Court stayed his execution. The court lifted the stay shortly before noon Wednesday.
Witnesses said Devier walked voluntarily into the death chamber and did not resist as he was strapped into the chair. Ninety minutes earlier, he had a last meal of two bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches and two cartons of milk. Devier had no last statement but agreed to a prayer, according to witnesses. “I’ll take all I can get when it comes to that,” Devier said.
Seven minutes later, he was dead. Death penalty proponents outside the prison, holding up enlarged photographs of the slain girl, cheered when they heard a radio broadcast of the execution.
Death penalty opponents were nearby, their heads bowed and holding hands. “This is murder,” said Bernard DeCook.
Mary and Roy Stoner, their 17-year-old daughter and four other relatives awaited news of the execution in the office of the warden of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center at Jackson. The Stoners had with them a portrait of their daughter bending over to lace her pink ballet slippers.
“It’s been way too long,” said Ginger Brown, Mary Frances’ first cousin, who was with the demonstrators.
Darrell Gene Devier was a convicted rapist and murderer executed in 1995. His story was featured on the Netflix show "Mindhunter." The show follows FBI agents as they interview serial killers to better understand future criminals. Devier murdered Mary Frances Stoner, a 12-year-old in Bartow County, in 1979. Her body was found with signs of rape, choking and the head crushed. Devier matched the FBI's suspect profile almost exactly. He confessed and was convicted of rape and murder.