A second stay of execution has been given to prison inmate Christopher Simmons, who was to die June 5th. This one is indefinite, ordered by the Missouri Supreme Court until the US Supreme Court rules on a case now before it. The question in that case, which comes from Virginia, is whether the imposition of the death sentence on a retarded person is cruel and unusual punishment. The Missouri Court earlier blocked Simmons’ May 1st execution without giving a reason. However, the Legislature at the time was considering a bill banning imposition of the death penalty on anyone younger than 18. Simmons was 17 when he was given the death penalty for tying up a woman and throwing her into the Meramec River.
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