death penalty

Death Penalty
8:28 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

After Delays, Missouri Carries Out Sixth Execution This Year

Credit Missouri Department of Corrections

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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Death Penalty
11:46 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Gov. Nixon Named Among Most Secretive Officials In U.S. With ‘Award’

The Golden Padlock Award.
Credit (Courtesy of Investigative Reporters And Editors)

Missouri is one of several states that are buying their execution drugs in secret. This week, the issue is getting some national attention.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has been recognized as one of the “most secretive publicly funded agencies or people in the United States.” He’s “won” the Golden Padlock Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. (He was also invited to accept the award in person, but declined).

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Death Penalty
6:31 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

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

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.

The execution took place in spite of concerns over the state's secret drug supplier, as well as the state's likely  intimidation of a correctional officer that supported clemency for the inmate.

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Death Penalty
11:01 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Federal Judge Stays Missouri Execution Over Concerns That State Obstructed Clemency Process

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.

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Death Penalty
12:31 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

With Injunction Denied, Death-Row Inmate Faces Execution Before His Sunshine Law Case Is Heard

Credit (via Flickr/s_falkow)

On Friday, a Cole County judge denied a death row inmate's request to order the state to turn over records on the lethal drugs that will be injected into him.

Inmate John Winfield attempted to speed up the legal process with a preliminary injunction because his execution is scheduled for June 18.

His lawyer, Joe Luby, argued 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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Death Penalty
2:02 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Judge Hears Arguments Over Missouri Execution Secrecy

Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

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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Missouri Elections
11:12 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Koster's Stance On Death Penalty May Boost Democrats' Election Chances

Chris Koster
Credit (Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says that his speech last Thursday to fellow lawyers, where he laid out the challenges facing Missouri and other states with the death penalty, had everything to do with policy, not politics.

“The purpose of the speech was to continue a serious public policy discussion regarding one aspect of perhaps the most profound act conducted by state government,”  Koster wrote in a statement Friday to St. Louis Public Radio.

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Death Penalty
3:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Expressing Concern Over Execution Secrecy, Koster Calls On State To Make Lethal Injection Drugs

Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

In a speech Thursday, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster expressed concern over the execution secrecy that his office has previously fought hard to defend. The Democrat is calling on the state to create a state-run laboratory to produce the lethal injection drugs itself.

Koster says the expanding secrecy surrounding Missouri’s lethal injection methods should "concern all of us deeply.”

The announcement comes at a time when there are few willing suppliers, which Koster admitted in his speech.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:00 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

What Are The Legal Issues With Lyft, Missouri Executions And Francine Katz?

Credit James Cridland via Flickr

Wednesday marked the fourth day of the Lyft hearing in downtown St. Louis. The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission (MTC) sees the ride-sharing app as a taxi service, and wants Lyft to comply with existing regulations. But Lyft says it is a “friend with a car,” not a taxi. Who has the stronger legal argument?

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Death Penalty
4:38 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Orders Missouri Halt Execution

Credit California Department of Corrections

Updated 5/21/14 6:35 pm

Missouri had hoped to carry out the nation's first execution since Oklahoma botched one, but the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the state to halt its plans.

The U.S. Supreme Court was asked to step in after the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals removed a stay that it originally put in place.

Russell Bucklew had been scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday. It would have been the state's seventh execution in as many months — equaling the number of executions the state has carried out in the preceding nine years.

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