Roderick Nunley was sentenced to death by a judge for the 1989 kidnapping, rape and murder of teenager Ann Harris in Kansas City. The death sentence was to be carried out at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 20. However, the and U.S. Surpeme courts have ruled that only a full jury can hand down a death sentence, not a judge. The court has refused to lift a federal judge’s stay of the execution. The Attorney General’s office is arguing in court that the execution should go through as planned today.
“It has been more than 20 years since the brutal murder of a 15-year-old Kansas City girl,” Attorney General Chris Koster said late Tuesday night. “My office will make every effort to see that justice is carried out for this young victim and her family.”
“The death warrant against Roderick Nunley extends over a 24-hour period, until midnight Wednesday [Oct. 21] night. Litigation in this matter is proceeding even now and will continue until every option is exhausted.”
Koster says Nunley asked for a judge to sentence him, not a jury, in 1991.
Department of Corrections spokesman Mike O’Connell said late last night that the prison in Bonne Terre — where executions take place by lethal injection — would resume normal operations until the next part of the legal process happens. The lockdown was lifted but Nunley remains kept in a holding cell next to the execution chamber.
Nunley expressed remorse for his crime, apologizing to Harris’ family, on a radio interview Tuesday. His accomplice, Michael A. Taylor, remains on death row. A date has not been set for his execution.
For the details of the crime, visit Missouri’s Death Row page.