Florida executes man for girl's 1980 killing

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Florida has executed a man for abducting and murdering a 10-year-old girl in 1980, prison authorities said.

Larry Mann, 59, was pronounced dead by lethal injection on Wednesday evening (Thursday morning Singapore time), a spokeswoman said in a statement.

He was found guilty of kidnapping Elisa Nelson as she headed to school, and of later cutting her throat and beating her head with a pipe that had a concrete base attached.

Although Mann did not rape the child, the man who was 27 at the time was already known to police for the type of attacks usually attributed to a paedophile.

His multiple appeals triggered new hearings that all confirmed his death sentence, as well as several delays to his execution.

In a statement released shortly after the execution, the girl's brother Jeffrey Nelson lashed out at a "fundamentally flawed... justice system that takes over 32 years to bring to justice a paedophile who confessed to kidnapping and murdering a 10-year-old girl."

"There are no winners here. His death does not bring Elisa back, nor does it end our sorrow, but we will no longer be tortured by his defense attorney's endless legal wrangling."

Mann was the first man executed this year in Florida, which has no more executions planned for 2013. He was the seventh to be put to death across the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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