death penalty

Crime
7:40 am
Thu July 17, 2014

After Delays, Missouri Carries Out Sixth Execution This Year

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:00 pm

Late Wednesday, Missouri executed John Middleton, 54, after courts debated whether he was mentally competent as well as claims that he was actually innocent.

According to the Department of Corrections, the execution began at 6:58 p.m. and ended at 7:06 p.m.

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Politics
7:59 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Missouri Becomes Second State To Carry Out An Execution After Oklahoma's Botched Affair

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:48 pm

Missouri carried out another execution early Wednesday. It was the state's fifth this year, and the nation's second since Oklahoma botched an execution in April.

Inmate John Winfield was put to death for murdering two people —  Arthea Sanders and Shawnee Murphy — in St. Louis County in 1996.

According to a state official, Winfield was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m.

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Politics
8:10 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Judge Hears Arguments Over Missouri Execution Secrecy

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 4:56 pm

In a court hearing Wednesday, the Missouri attorney general's office defended the secrecy that just last week Attorney General Chris Koster expressed concerns over.

Inmate John Winfield is scheduled to be executed on June 18 for murdering two people in St. Louis County in 1996. His lawyer, Joe Luby, argued in the Cole County 19th Judicial Circuit Court that the Missouri Department of Corrections is violating the sunshine law by keeping secret the identity of the supplier of the execution drug.

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Politics
4:42 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Missouri attorney general wants execution changes

Credit Flickr / steakpinball

Missouri's attorney general says the state should establish its own laboratory to produce chemicals for use in executions rather than rely on an "uneasy cooperation" with medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies.

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Politics
7:59 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Missouri execution postponed

Credit California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court has put off the execution of a Missouri inmate with a rare medical condition who challenged the state's refusal to disclose the source of its lethal injection drug.

The justices on Wednesday said a lower federal court needs to take another look at the case of convicted killer Russell Bucklew.

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Politics
9:07 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Suits Challenge Missouri Over Secrecy About Execution Procedures

Chris McDaniel

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 9:55 pm

Two suits were filed Thursday in Jefferson City challenging Missouri officials for failing to disclose information about the drugs the state uses in lethal injections.

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Politics
7:29 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Who's Waiting On Death Row?

Holding cells at a former prison.
Tracy King iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 4:21 pm

News of Tuesday's botched execution in Oklahoma got us thinking more generally about who is in prison and who is facing the death penalty.

Here are some figures that may surprise you:

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NPR Story
3:18 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Oklahoma Botches Execution; Lethal Injection Issues There Mirror Missouri's

This file photo combo of images provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows Clayton Lockett, left, and Charles Warner.

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 9:15 am

Oklahoma, a state with numerous ties to the controversy over Missouri's lethal injection procedures, on Tuesday night botched what the state had hoped would be the first of two successful executions.

According to reports of witnesses, Clayton Lockett writhed in pain on the gurney after he awoke following a doctor's declaration that he was unconscious. He died of an apparent heart attack at 7:06 p.m., more than 40 minutes after the first drug was injected at 6:23 p.m.

Robert Patton, director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, said Lockett's vein had collapsed.

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Crime
5:01 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Missouri prepares for execution; another date set

Credit Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

As Missouri prepares for its fifth execution in five months, the Missouri Supreme Court on Friday set the date for another, continuing what could be a record year.

Jeffrey Ferguson is scheduled to die Wednesday for abducting and killing a teenager in St. Charles County in 1989. His attorneys on Thursday filed appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that the execution be delayed until lower courts can decide if a stay should be granted. Ferguson's attorneys also claim that his conviction was based, in part, on false testimony from an FBI agent.

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Intersection
4:00 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Executions in Missouri - the social, ethical and political factors

In Missouri and across the nation, the process of executing criminals is becoming complicated. It’s one of our society’s most somber, and impactful, tasks. But how much do you know about the process? If you don’t know much about it, there may be a reason for that. Two of our colleagues at in public radio have investigated and found that the process is shrouded in secrecy. Meantime, four people have been executed in Missouri in as many months, after years of less frequent executions.

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Politics
8:33 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Senate panel reviews Missouri death penalty bills

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
Credit File / KBIA

A Missouri Senate committee is considering legislation on the death penalty.

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True/False Conversations
12:09 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Killing Time: A 'bare film' documenting the day of a Texas execution

Killing Time
Credit Still from the film / Jaap Van Hoewijk

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

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Crime
8:27 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Missouri Supreme Court Hears Clemons Case

Mo. Supreme Court Building
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 5:29 pm

The case of a Missouri death row inmate who accuses police of beating a false confession out of him was heard Tuesday by the State Supreme Court.

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Politics
8:27 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Oklahoma pharmacy seeks Missouri license

Credit Nottingham Vet School / Flikr

An Oklahoma compounding pharmacy linked to Missouri's new lethal injection drug is now seeking a license to do business in the neighboring state.

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Politics
4:46 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

After Supplying For Three Missouri Executions, Pharmacy Plans To Register In State

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 4:51 pm

An Oklahoma compounding pharmacy has supplied Missouri with the drug it's used three times to execute inmates, despite the fact that the pharmacy isn't licensed here.

Now the Apothecary Shoppe is attempting to become licensed in Missouri.

According to records obtained by St. Louis Public Radio, the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy received a letter from the Apothecary Shoppe on Jan. 13, when the pharmacy said it was planning on registering in both Missouri and Texas.

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Crime
8:04 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Condemned Mo. man denied stay of execution

Credit Flickr / steakpinball

A federal judge in Missouri has denied a motion to grant a 60-day stay of execution for convicted killer Herbert Smulls.

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Politics
8:01 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Federal Judges Rule Execution Drug Supplier Can Be Secret, But Documents Point To Likely Identity

(via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:31 am

Late Friday night, a group of federal judges found that the compounding pharmacy making Missouri's execution drug can remain secret, but new emails point to one pharmacy as the likely supplier.

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Crime
4:49 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Attorney for Smulls seeks stay over drug concerns

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.

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Politics
8:03 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Opponents of death penalty plan Capitol rally today

Credit Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Death penalty opponents are using the 25th anniversary of Missouri's resumption of capital punishment to highlight their desire to halt executions.

George Mercer was executed on Jan. 6, 1989, for the 1978 rape and slaying of waitress Karen Keeten in the Kansas City area. Mercer's execution was Missouri's first after a nationwide moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in 1976.

Since then, Missouri has executed 70 inmates.

Death penalty opponents planned a news conference Monday at the Missouri Capitol.

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Under the Microscope
1:19 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Missouri's Execution drug source raises legal, ethical questions in Missouri

Credit California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

Missouri has put two people to death since last November, with another execution scheduled for late January. St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel and Véronique LaCapra have been looking into the state's secretive and controversial lethal injection process. They've discovered the state may be ignoring its own laws in carrying out the death penalty.

 

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Politics
8:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Investigation: Missouri's Execution Drug Source Raises Legal, Ethical Questions

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 1:11 pm

In an investigation spanning the past few months, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon has discovered the state of Missouri may be ignoring its own laws in carrying out the death penalty by buying execution drugs from a pharmacy not licensed to do business in Missouri.

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Crime
3:29 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Executions down in the U.S., but on rise in Missouri

Credit File Photo / KBIA

 

Use of the death penalty declined nationally in 2013, but the punishment has seen a resurgence in Missouri.

The Death Penalty Information Center on Thursday released a report showing that 39 people were executed in the U.S. in 2013, just the second time in 19 years that fewer than 40 were put to death.

Missouri has executed two men in the past month — Joseph Paul Franklin on Nov. 29 and Allen Nicklasson on Dec. 11. The executions were the first in Missouri since 2011, and the most in a single year since five in 2005.

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Crime
7:45 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Mo. executes convicted killer of Good Samaritan

A Kansas City man has been executed for killing a good Samaritan who stopped to help him and his friends after their car had broken down in 1994.

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Crime
7:58 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Missouri appeals Nicklasson stay to Supreme Court

Credit Flickr / steakpinball

The execution of a convicted killer in Missouri is on hold at least for several hours.

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Crime
8:23 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Federal court panel stays Missouri man's execution

Credit Flickr / steakpinball

A panel of federal judges has stayed a Missouri man's execution a little more than a day before he was set to die.

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Politics
7:23 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Execution could mean more death sentences in Mo.

Credit Flickr / steakpinball

Missouri's execution of a white supremacist who claimed responsibility for killings across the country could increase the state's use of the death penalty.

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Politics
3:40 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Mo. Moving Forward With Executions, Despite Secrecy Over Drug Supply

(via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 3:32 pm

A month ago, St. Louis Public Radio reported on the questionable manner in which the state of Missouri got ahold of its potential execution drug. Now Missouri has a new plan to go ahead with two upcoming executions, but the process is anything but open.

Updated 11/14/13 3:24 p.m.

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Crime
9:05 am
Wed November 13, 2013

'Hustler' publisher attempts to halt execution of man who shot him

Credit joegratz / flickr

Missouri death row inmate Joseph Franklin has an unexpected advocate for the stoppage of his planned execution.

Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Foundation filed a motion in federal court to have documentation concerning Franklin’s planned execution unsealed.

Flynt was paralyzed from the waist down in 1978 after being shot by Franklin in Georgia in retaliation for Hustler containing an interracial photo spread. Franklin is facing execution for committing multiple murders.

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Politics
4:39 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Execution Drug Sources No Longer Public After Mo. Rule Change

A picture of propofol, a drug Mo. was planning to use for lethal injection. Under the state's new rule, showing who made or supplied the drug would be illegal.
Veronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:05 pm

Two weeks ago, Gov. Jay Nixon instructed the Missouri Department of Corrections to come up with a new procedure for carrying out lethal injections.

On Tuesday, the department announced that it had chosen a new execution drug: pentobarbital. But the state also made a change that will end up making it harder, if not impossible, to know where the drugs come from.

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Politics
4:44 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Following Controversy, Missouri Selects New Execution Drug

Lethal injection room at San Quentin State Prison.
California Department of Corrections

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:30 pm

On Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Corrections announced that it had selected a new drug for upcoming executions: pentobarbital.

The change comes following criticism of the questionable methods Missouri had obtained the drug it had previously planned to use, as well as concern that its use could harm hospitals throughout the U.S. The state had planned to use a common anesthetic named propofol, which has never been used to carry out an execution.

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