Missouri execution scheduled for midnight, first since prolonged Arizona execution

Aug 5, 2014

Credit Missouri Department of Corrections

The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing whether to intervene in the scheduled Missouri execution of an Illinois man condemned to death in the 1995 killing of a suburban St. Louis college student.

If carried out as scheduled just after midnight tonight, 43-year-old Michael Worthington's execution will be the first in the nation since a lethal injection went awry last month in Arizona.

Worthington was sentenced to death in 1998, after he pleaded guilty to raping and strangling Melinda Griffin. Worthington, from Peoria, Illinois, confessed that he broke into Griffin's St. Charles County apartment. He said he choked her into unconsciousness and raped her. When she regained consciousness, he strangled her.

Worthington's appeals question the secrecy involving the execution drugs, as well as flawed executions recently in three other states.