Missouri’s Governor and Attorney General have issued statements regarding the execution of Leon Taylor. Taylor, 56, died by lethal injection early this morning at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre.
Governor Jay Nixon denied a petition for clemency for Taylor, and issued this statement:
“Earlier today, my counsel provided me with a final briefing on the comprehensive review of the petition for clemency from Leon Taylor, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Robert Newton. Each request for clemency is considered and decided on its own merit and set of facts, and this is a process and a power of the Governor I do not take lightly. After due consideration of the facts, I have denied this petition.
“Robert Newton was murdered in cold blood, even after he handed over money during a robbery of the gas station he managed. If Leon Taylor’s gun had not jammed, Taylor also would have murdered Newton’s eight-year-old stepdaughter as well. There is no question of guilt in this murder, and my denial of clemency upholds the court’s decision to impose a sentence of death.
“I ask that the people of Missouri remember Robert Newton, and keep his family in their thoughts and prayers.”
After Taylor’s execution was carried out, Attorney General Chris Koster issued a statement:
“Leon Taylor coldly murdered a man in front of his young stepdaughter. Those who knew and loved Robert Newton waited two decades for the imposition of justice that finally came early this morning.”