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updated: 8/5/2013 5:30 PM

Convicted mass murderer executed in Florida

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Associated Press

STARKE, Fla. -- A man who was convicted of murdering eight people in Miami-Dade County in the late 1970s has been executed at the Florida State Prison.

John Errol Ferguson died at 6:17 p.m. Monday, following a lethal injection.

The execution came after months of court appeals. Ferguson's lawyers said that their client had a long history of mental illness and that it would be unconstitutional for the state to execute him.

The 65-year-old was convicted of murdering six people in a drug-related crime in 1977. All six were blindfolded, bound and shot in the back of the head.

Ferguson also was convicted in the 1978 murders of two Hialeah teenagers.

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