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St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel and Véronique LaCapra have been investigating Missouri's execution process and the legal and ethical questions around how the state is obtaining its execution drug. Since most drug manufacturers don’t want their products used for lethal injection, Missouri has had to go to great lengths to find a supply. Read their extensive reporting below and related stories from the St. Louis Public Radio newsroom.

Missouri Supreme Court denies request for stay of execution

Marcellus Williams' execution was postponed in August.
Missouri Department of Corrections

Updated at 5 p.m. with comment from Williams' lawyer, governor's office — The Missouri Supreme Court will not stop next week's scheduled execution of Marcellus Williams, it said Tuesday. 

The court said it will not review the new evidence that Marcellus Williams' attorney submitted Monday, but gave no explanation why. Kent Gipson had argued that said a new test proved Williams' DNA was not found on the knife that was used in the 1998 killing of former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Felicia Gayle in University City.

Gipson said he plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and will ask Gov. Eric Greitens to intervene, too. He also said he was surprised with the speed in which the high court denied the stay. 

"Certainly something involving a claim of innocence that is this substantial, you would think they would at least write an opinion or at least a short opinion giving the reasons why they denied it, because that makes it more difficult to take it up to a higher court because they don't know exactly on what basis the ruling was made," Gipson said.  

Attorney General Josh Hawley's spokeswoman told The Associated Press that his office was confident Williams is guilty based on other evidence.

Gov. Eric Greitens spokesman Parker Briden said in a statement that the governor is "in the process of reviewing the case with our legal team."

Williams' first execution was postponed in January 2015. The 48-year-old is scheduled to be executed on Aug. 22.

Department of Corrections spokesman David Owen recently said in an email that the agency is “prepared to carry out the … execution in accordance to the lethal injection protocol established in 2013.” The state uses one drug, the sedative pentobarbital, in executions, and has refused to disclose the supplier.

Read the court's denial: 

 

Rachel Lippmann contributed to this report.

Follow Erica on Twitter: @ehunzinger

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