An Oklahoma judge on Wednesday ruled that the state's execution law is unconstitutional because it prevents inmates from finding out the source of the drugs used in executions.
The Missouri attorney general's office isn't commenting on any potential implications from a court ruling about Oklahoma's execution policies.
Missouri's execution law remains in place, but the state has a similar privacy provision that state officials have cited while declining to release the identity of the business that supplies its execution drugs.
Missouri continues to prepare for its third execution of the year.
Jeffrey Ferguson is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for the 1989 death of a 17-year-old St. Charles County girl. His attorneys have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a stay.
Missouri executed Herbert Smulls in January and Michael Taylor in February. The state has also set an April 23 execution date for William Rousan, convicted of killing an elderly St. Francois County couple in 1993.
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.
Missouri could be on pace to see a record number of executions in 2014, with two more inmates now on the verge of execution dates.
The Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday issued show cause orders in the cases of Leon Taylor and Michael Worthington. The orders give attorneys for the two men until April 14 to show why an execution date should not be set.
Missouri executed two men late last year and has already put to death two other convicted killers in the first two months of 2014 — Herbert Smulls in January and Michael Taylor in February.
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 10:02 am
Although the state's previous drug supplier says it will not supply for the next execution, Missouri says it's found another willing pharmacy.
On Monday, the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma reached a settlement with an inmate who had sued the pharmacy. Although the terms were confidential, the pharmacy agreed to not sell to Missouri for its upcoming execution.
In a court filing Wednesday evening, the state said inmate Michael Taylor was trying to cut off the supply of the state's execution drug.
A Missouri state senator wants to give the Corrections Department flexibility on how it carries out executions.
Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer introduced legislation Wednesday that would allow the department to execute inmates by any lawful means. Current law permits executions only by lethal gas or chemicals.
Schaefer, of Columbia, says legal questions over Missouri's current use of pentobarbital shouldn't be used to block capital punishment in the state. He says his bill would give the department the necessary flexibility to carry out death sentences.