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Nixon denies clemency to Link, Missouri prepares for first execution in 2 years

Martin Link, scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, Feb. 9, was denied clemency by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon today. (Missouri Department of Corrections website)

UPDATE 2:08 p.m. Feb. 8, 2011:

The Missouri Supreme Court is refusing to halt the execution of Martin Link.

The court announced the decision without comment on Tuesday.

Link's attorney, Jennifer Herndon, says two appeals (mentioned in our original story below) are still pending before the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Original Story:

Gov. Jay Nixon has denied clemency for Martin Link, who is scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday in Bonne Terre.

Nixon says the factors that led to the 47-year-old's conviction for the kidnapping, rape and murder of 11-year-old Elissa Self in 1991 have not changed.

Link's attorney has two court appeals pending, one before a federal judge, the other before the Missouri Supreme Court. Both question the legality of Missouri's lethal injection protocol.

Elissa disappeared while walking to her school bus stop in south St. Louis on Jan. 11, 1991. Her body was found four days later along the banks of the St. Francis River, some 135 miles south of St. Louis.

The execution would be the first in Missouri since May 2009.

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