lethal injection

(via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

Updated 9 a.m. Tuesday with news of Supreme Court's action - The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a challenge by Missouri death row inmates to the state’s execution protocol.

The high court on Monday denied a request from the inmate's attorneys to consider the case. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that in order to win their claims that Missouri's lethal injection cocktail amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, inmates had to show that a viable alternative was available.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com)

Updated April 7, 2015 with court ruling allowing Flynt to intervene.

A federal appeals court has given Hustler publisher Larry Flynt the right to ask that certain records in two court cases challenging Missouri's execution process be unsealed.

The unsigned opinion issued Tuesday by a panel of the 8th Circuit does not make the documents public. It simply gives Flynt the right to argue that they should not be kept secret. 

St. Louis Public Radio reporter Chris McDaniel talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh about investigative journalism on Feb. 10, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

A few months ago, an investigative report by St. Louis Public Radio reporter Chris McDaniel revealed the state of Missouri was covertly using the drug midazolam before execution warrants were valid, and before witnesses were present to provide oversight. That story led to reforms in the state’s mostly secret execution policies.

via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear a challenge to Oklahoma's lethal injection protocol. The case could have direct impact on Missouri in at least two ways.

First, it raises questions about the use of midazolam. Oklahoma uses the drug as the first step in its execution procedure. Missouri also has administered midazolam in large doses to inmates prior to execution, though the state has claimed the drug is not part of the execution procedure.

(via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

A Cole County judge is considering whether the state of Missouri needs to make more information public about the way it performs executions.

file photo

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.

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.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

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.

(Missouri Department of Corrections)

Update 7:52 a.m 11/20/13:

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.

(via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

(Last updated Jan. 30, 2014)

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Last updated 1:30 p.m. Will be updated further.

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.

Here's Nixon's full statement: 

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

The American Civil Liberties Union hopes to block two executions in Missouri this fall by seeking to disqualify the anesthesiologist used by the Department of Corrections.

Jeffrey Mittman is Executive Director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.  He says the American Board of Anesthesiology has recently adopted the same standards used by the American Medical Association, meaning that they cannot participate in ending someone's life.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

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.

21 death-row prisoners are suing the director of Missouri’s Corrections Department over its new lethal injection drug.

Director George Lombardi announced last month that Missouri would be the first in the nation to replace its three-drug protocol in favor of using the anesthetic Propofol for capital punishment.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

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.

A group of activists say Andre Cole didn't receive a fair trial nor a proper defense. They're asking Gov. Nixon to halt Cole's execution Tuesday.
(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

A federal judge has rejected a challenge by Missouri prison inmates to the state's execution procedure.

The inmates' lawsuit argued that Missouri does not get valid medical prescriptions for the drugs used to put prisoners to death.

The lawsuit cited the state's use of non-medical personnel to administer the chemicals intravenously.

In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey said the inmates' lawsuit failed to show actual harm to anyone.

Missouri's execution process has been the subject of legal wrangling for several years.

On March 1, Missouri’s supply of a key execution drug expired. The sole U.S. manufacturer has stopped making the drug, sending the state on a quest to find more. The federal government does not have any reserves and is currently undertaking a review of what they call a critical shortage.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports, Missouri has another option. It could follow the lead of Ohio and Oklahoma and switch drugs.