Attorney General Chris Koster is asking the 8th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dissolve a stay of execution for prison inmate John Middleton who is scheduled to die at one minute past midnight tonight. District Judge Catherine Perry had issued the stay, calling for a hearing on Middleton’s sanity. “I conclude that Middleton has made ‘a substantial threshold showing of insanity’ such that the execution should be stayed until he may receive a hearing on his claim [that] he is not competent to be executed,” she wrote. Perry emphasized she was not saying Middleton is insane but was saying he should have a hearing to prove his point.
Middleton is to be executed for three northwest Missouri murders almost twenty years ago. His lawyer says a newly-discovered witness and other information casts doubt on the circumstances leading to his conviction and sentence.
The Missourinet’s Bob Priddy will be in Bonne Terre tonight if the execution happens. Earlier today, he was interviewed by John Anthony on Missourinet affiliate KTTN in Trenton.