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Florida Executes Gay Predator

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Florida has executed a gay-sex predator who killed six men.

Gary Ray Bowles pleaded guilty in a series of killings targeting gay men along the US east coast from Florida to Maryland in 1994.

He was sentenced to death for the murder of a Jacksonville man and has been serving two life sentences in other murder cases.

Lawyers for the 57-year-old West Virginia native had appealed against the death penalty arguing that he was too intellectually disabled to be executed, but the Florida state and federal courts refused to review the merits of his claim.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected his petition seeking a stay of execution.

Bowles was put to death by lethal injection Thursday night at Florida State Prison in Starke.

It came a day after Texas executed 48-year-old Larry Swearingen, convicted of raping and murdering a teenage college student. It was the fourth execution carried out in the state and the 12th in the United States this year.

Groups of defense lawyers and disability advocates said Bowles' intellectual disability claim presented evidence of an IQ score of 74, within the accepted range of intellectual disability, and had urged the Supreme Court to enforce its categorical ban on executing individuals with intellectual disability.

But Bowles' IQ scores were slightly above a 70 IQ-score cutoff that prevented him from obtaining relief.

Bowles, who went on an eight-month killing spree targeting older gay men, used to stuff objects down the victims' throats.

He was dubbed the "I-95 killer" as he carried out all the murders near the Interstate 95 corridor.

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