A 3-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a stay of execution to the Missouri inmate scheduled to die by lethal injection next week.
Leon Taylor’s attorney says his death sentence should be commuted to life in prison because that is what happened with other inmates who had been sentenced to death by a judge, after a jury could not agree on their penalties. Instead, Taylor’s case had been sent to a second jury who did agree on a death sentence. The attorney says that creates a unique circumstance for him and that he should be treated like all the other inmates who were in that situation.
She also challenges his death sentence because the second jury was made up of all white jurors. The first jury had four black members.
The panel’s decision to deny him a stay is expected to be appealed. A request for clemency for Taylor has also been sent to Governor Nixon’s office.