Forty two years ago this week, St. Louis Public Radio began broadcasting from its home at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Coincidentally, those of us from the St. Louis Beacon, which merged with the station six months ago, are about to complete probation and become full-fledged UMSL employees.
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.
Missouri carried out the execution of Joseph Paul Franklin a little after 6 a.m. He was put to death after courts overturned Tuesday's stays of execution.
Yesterday, two federal judges issued stays of execution.
The judges took issue with how the state was getting its lethal injection drug from a secret source not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and questioned whether the inmate was mentally competent to be executed.
The state of Missouri, led by Attorney General Chris Koster, appealed quickly.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has responded to the recent controversy surrounding the execution drug propofol by halting the execution of a Missouri inmate, and asking that a different form of lethal injection be used.
Attorney General Chris Koster says Missouri may have to resort to using the gas chamber to carry out death sentences as an "unintended consequence" of the state Supreme Court's refusal to set execution dates.
Executions have been on hold in Missouri since the state Supreme Court has declined to set execution dates. The court says execution dates would be "premature" until a federal legal challenge is resolved regarding the use of the drug propofol as Missouri's new execution method.
Updated at 5:50 a.m. Friday with additional reporting. Reporting from KRCU's Jacob McCleland was used in this story.
The anesthetic that caused the overdose death of pop star Michael Jackson is now the drug for executions in Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Corrections is switching from its longstanding three-drug method to a single drug, propofol, which has never been used in an execution in the U.S. That's causing a stir among critics lijke Death Penalty Information Center director Richard Dieter.