Chris McDaniel

Reporter

Chris McDaniel started at St. Louis Public Radio as a political reporter, predominantly covering the race between Senator Claire McCaskill and Congressman Todd Akin. Before coming to St. Louis, Chris worked at NPR stations in Louisville, Kentucky and Columbia, Missouri, and his work has been broadcast on NPR’s national newscasts. He is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri, where he studied journalism and political science. He is also the winner of the 2011 PAX East Super Smash Bros. Tournament. Chris enjoys dogs, anything by Cormac McCarthy, and listeners like you.

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Death Penalty
7:27 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Federal Judge Denies Stay Of Execution For Missouri Inmate

Credit (via Flickr/steakpinball)

On Monday evening, a federal judge denied Missouri inmate Herbert Smulls' request to halt his execution. On Tuesday evening, Gov. Jay Nixon denied his request for clemency.

Barring some unforeseen change, he will be put to death early Wednesday morning.

Smulls will be injected with a drug made by the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma, which isn't licensed to sell in Missouri. The state has argued the drug is safe, however, by pointing to a report by a testing laboratory.

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Death Penalty
10:59 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Three Missouri Offices Are Responsible For Controversial Execution Plans

Mo. Attorney General Chris Koster (top left), Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (top right), and Director of the Mo. Department of Corrections George Lombardi (bottom left).
Lombardi: Flickr/Mo. Dept. of Public Safety Koster: via Chris Koster campaign ad Nixon: UPI/Bill Greenblatt, Capitol: St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon.

For the death penalty to be carried out in Missouri, it requires three agencies in particular to work in sync. The Department of Corrections performs the executions. The governor appoints the head of the Department of Corrections and can offer clemency to death row inmates. The attorney general defends the state when the execution method is challenged.

Each agency has found itself in the spotlight recently as Missouri's execution procedure has come under scrutiny. 

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Death Penalty
9:03 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

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

(via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

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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Death Penalty
12:58 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

New Report Calls Into Question Quality Of Execution Drug

via Flickr/Nottingham Vet School

Last night, the Missouri Attorney General's office attempted to convince a federal judge that the state's execution drug is pure and potent, by pointing to a testing report done by an anonymous laboratory. But lawyers representing the inmate say that report shows the opposite.

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Politically Speaking
3:58 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Politically Speaking: State Of State, Death Penalty And Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus

Credit Credit Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

It's another two-part edition of the podcast. Marshall Griffin joins the Politically Speaking crew to talk about Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State speech and the latest developments involving Missouri's death penalty. Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, joins Chris, Jo and Jason for the second part of the show. 

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Death Penalty
12:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

In Light Of Investigations, Inmate's Lawyers Ask Courts To Stay Execution

Despite possible or pending investigations into how the state carried out executions by the state auditor, the legislature, two state Boards of Pharmacy, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. attorney’s office, the state of Missouri has shown no signs of holding off on next week's execution.

Lawyers representing inmate Herbert Smulls are hoping the courts will stay his execution for 60 days, so that some of these investigations can play out. Smulls is scheduled to be put to death on Jan. 29 for the 1991 shooting of Stephen and Florence Honickman.

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Politically Speaking
4:06 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Politically Speaking: 'Right To Work,' Rep. Barnes And Medicaid

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon.

On this week’s podcast, Jason and Jo discuss the roadblocks to getting “right to work” on the ballot and why upcoming campaign finance reports matter. For the rest of the show, the Politically Speaking crew talks with Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City.

During the show, Barnes described his proposal to expand Medicaid – which some see as an alternative to the straight-up Medicaid expansion that Gov. Jay Nixon supports. Barnes also discussed his efforts to find out more about Missouri’s unsuccessful bid to lure Boeing’s 777X to Missouri.

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Death Penalty
9:15 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Missouri Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into State's Execution Method

(Flickr/neil conway)

Updated 1/14/14 4:43 pm with news of scheduled hearing and Speaker Tim Jones' response.

Several state lawmakers are calling for an investigation into how the Missouri Department of Corrections has carried out executions in the previous months.

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Politically Speaking
10:32 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Politically Speaking: Secretary of State Kander On Ethics Reform, Voter ID And More

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

This week the Politically Speaking crew welcomes Secretary of State Jason Kander to the podcast. Kander, a Democrat from Kansas City, narrowly captured the statewide office in 2012 after a hard-fought contest with Republican Shane Schoeller.

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Death Penalty
2:11 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Inmates' Lawyers Ask Mo. Board Of Pharmacy To Act Before Execution

A container of pentobarbital. Missouri's execution drug isn't like this one though, which is made by a manufacturer. The state is instead relying on a compounding pharmacy to emulate the drug.
via Flickr/Nottingham Vet School

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.

On Tuesday, we reported that the Department of Corrections has been obtaining its execution drug from an out-of-state compounding pharmacy that isn't licensed to do business in Missouri. Under normal circumstances, the pharmacist could be guilty of a felony.

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