execution drug

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review Oklahoma's method of execution by lethal injection. The justices agreed to hear the Oklahoma case a week after refusing to halt another execution that used the same drug formula.

(Updated at 10:51 am, Thurs., Sept. 4 with further response from the Department of Corrections)

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.

Joe Gratz / Flickr

A federal appeals court in St. Louis has set a September hearing in the case of a Missouri man whose late May execution was delayed by the U.S. Supreme Court hours before he was scheduled to die.

gavel
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.

execution gurney
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.

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.

execution gurney
California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

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.

execution gurney
California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

The attorney for condemned Missouri inmate Russell Bucklew is seeking permission to video-record the execution, citing concerns that Bucklew could suffer during the process.

Josey Herrera / KBIA


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.

execution gurney
California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

Efforts to spare the life of a condemned Missouri man hinge on an argument that has so far held little sway over the courts.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

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

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.

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.

Missouri's recent executions have sparked controversy lately -- not just for the secrecy and the source of the execution drug but also for the state's speed in carrying them out.

The Department of Corrections has carried out three executions in as many months. In all those cases, the inmate still had appeals pending at the time the state executed him.

After a lawsuit filed by a death-row inmate, the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma has agreed to not sell to Missouri for its upcoming execution.

Last week, a federal judge ordered the pharmacy to hold off on selling the drug to Missouri until further review. Before that could take place, however, the pharmacy and the inmate came to an agreement.

Despite the controversy over how Missouri has carried out its past three executions, a state House hearing on Monday revealed little that hasn't already been reported:

propofol
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.

execution gurney
California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

A Missouri House panel has canceled a scheduled hearing about the state's controversial execution procedures.

Committee Chairman Jay Barnes says he called off Tuesday's hearing after learning that Department of Corrections Director George Lombardi was not going to attend it.

Barnes says he didn't want a one-sided hearing and hopes to reschedule at a later date.

It wasn't immediately clear why Lombardi wasn't going to be there.

execution gurney
California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

As Missouri prepares for its third execution in two months, a chorus of concerns is raised about the secretive process of obtaining the lethal drug.

missouri capitol
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.

Lawyers representing death row inmates have filed a complaint with the Missouri Board of Pharmacy, citing St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon’s investigation from earlier this week.

execution gurney
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.

 

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.