Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:36 pm
For the fourth time this year, an inmate's lethal injection did not go as planned. Last night, it was Arizona, but the state has company.
An Ohio inmate took 25 minutes to die in January. In Oklahoma, there were two apparent botches: In one, an inmate said, "I feel my whole body burning," and in another, the prisoner took more than 40 minutes to die.
But Arizona's execution took even longer. Joseph Wood's execution began at 1:52 p.m., and he died nearly two hours later at 3:49 p.m.
A federal judge has stayed Missouri's upcoming execution over concerns that the Department of Corrections obstructed the clemency process.
Inmate John Winfield was scheduled to be put to death on June 18 for killing two people in St. Louis County. Before an execution can occur in Missouri, the governor must first make a decision on clemency -- whether or not the inmate's life should be spared.
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.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is standing firm with plans to execute Russell Bucklew this week, despite claims from the condemned man's attorneys that he could suffer during the process because of a rare medical condition.
Bucklew is scheduled to die by a lethal dose of pentobarbital at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing a southeast Missouri man during a violent crime spree in 1996.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty joined together last week to send a letter to Governor Jay Nixon requesting a suspension on executions until the procedures are made more transparent.
The state of Missouri has carried out its fourth execution this year. Just past midnight, William Rousan was executed for the 1993 murder of a 62-year-old woman in southeast Missouri. He was also convicted of killing the woman’s husband in a plan to steal their cows.
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 Wed February 26, 2014 5:06 pm
Wednesday's execution of Michael Taylor marked the state's fourth in as many months - a dramatic uptick from recent years.
The state put Taylor to death for abducting, raping and killing a 15-year-old girl in 1989.Gov. Jay Nixon called the crime "wanton" and "heinous" in a statement denying clemency and said the death penalty was the appropriate punishment.
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.
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.