February 13, 2016

Koster to Supreme Court: Execution dates must be set for death row inmates

Attorney General Chris Koster is urging the State Supreme Court to set a date of death by execution for 19 death row inmates.

A motion was filed to set an execution date for death row inmate Jeffrey Ferguson more than six years ago. Koster says it's time for the courts to move forward on this and 18 other executions.

Koster says these are inmates who can no longer appeal, no stays are in effect, and no legal impediment exists.

“Right now ther are 19 individuals who are on Death Row in the State of Missouri, about ten of them have already been before the Supreme Court to get execution dates, but the Supreme Court has taken a very long time in responding to these requests, sometimes as much as 1800 days — so, three, four, five years without an answer from the supreme court. We placed nine more names in front of the court, and raised the issue that we feel that it’s incumbent upon the court to begin to answer these requests beacuse there is no other way for these cases to proceed without court action.”

On behalf of the State, Koster has expressly requested this Court to set execution dates for the following ten individuals:


Date Motion Filed

Days Motion Pending

Jeffrey Ferguson

April 14, 2006


John Middleton

June 8, 2007


William Rousan

June 8, 2007


Michael Taylor

June 8, 2007

John Winfield

June 8, 2007


Russell Bucklew

June 8, 2007


Earl Ringo

April 17, 2008


Mark Christeson

April 17, 2008


Joseph Franklin1

June 16, 2009


Allen Nicklasson

January 26, 2010


In addition to the ten defendants identified above, nine additional individuals now have final convictions for capital murder, with no stay in effect:


Date Conviction Final

Cecil Clayton

November 3, 2008

Herbert Smulls

April 6, 2009

David Barnett

October 5, 2009

Leon Taylor

June 21, 2010

Walter Storey

February 28, 2011

Andre Cole

October 3, 2011

Michael Worthington

November 28, 2011

Paul Goodwin

February 21, 2012

David Zink

March 26, 2012

Meanwhile, the problem that has effectively stopped executions for two years in Missouri has been solved by the Missouri Department of Corrections. When the drug sodium thiopental was taken off the market, our state and many others were forced to find a new lethal injection drug. That drug has been procured. See this story for more.

The last person to be executed at the correctional facility in Bonne Terre was Martin Link, who was put to death for the kidnap, rape and murder of 11-year-old Elissa Self  in St. Louis.

AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:30)