Attorney for Smulls seeks stay over drug concerns

Jan 22, 2014


Credit Photo by Yaniv Ben-Arie via Flickr

The attorney for Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls, scheduled to die by injection on Jan. 29, has asked a federal court for a 60-day stay of execution over concerns about the execution drug.

Attorney Cheryl Pilate filed the motion for a stay on Tuesday with U.S. District Court in Jefferson City. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Chris Koster says the state will respond by Friday, but otherwise declined comment.

Smulls was sentenced to death for killing a St. Louis County jeweler in 1991. He would be the third Missouri death row inmate to be executed since November.

Pilate cites several concerns over Missouri's use of the drug pentobarbital, manufactured by an unnamed compounding pharmacy. She says Smulls would be at "grave risk" of suffering excruciating pain during the execution.