The invitations have gone out to the people who are to be the witnesses of the first execution of the year, but whether it will be tonight or later tomorrow or some other day is tied up in court. A federal judge in Kansas City had blocked Michael A. Taylor’s execution, originally scheduled for tonight and planned a hearing on February 21st. During the weekend a panel of the Federal Appeals Court in St. Louis lifted that stay and ordered a hearing by a different federal judge. A ruling has to be issued by noon tomorrow. The new judge started hearing testimony yesterday. More is to be given today. The appeals court has stayed the execution until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, but could vacate that stay before then, depending on what the new judge says. Taylor claims drugs used in lethal injections create a risk of undue suffering and do not necessarily cause death. He was convicted of kidnapping and killing a 15-year old girl in Kansas city almost 17 years ago.
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