Federal Judge Admonishes Missouri’s Execution Practices

Honorable Judge Kermit Bye of the Federal District Court recently issued a scathing opinion of Missouri’s execution practices. In his December 23 opinion he noted that Missouri violated the federal constitution by executing Allen Nicklasson on December 11, before the federal court could rule on the constitutionality of Missouri’s execution protocol.

His sixteen page opinion then goes into detail on Missouri’s “well-documented history of attempting to execute death row inmates before the federal courts can determine the constitutionality of the executions.” His documentation begins in the early 1980s and continues to the present. Among his recent criticisms is that Missouri continues to change its execution protocol-with the last change just five days before the Franklin execution in November.

Judge Bye concludes that Missouri’s “current practice of using shadow pharmacies hidden behind the hangman’s hood, copycat pharmaceuticals, numerous last-minute changes to its execution protocol” has committed him to subjecting Missouri’s future implementation of the death penalty to “intense judicial scrutiny.” To read the full opinion, visit the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, Case 13-3664.


Posted: January 3, 2014

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