A federal appeals court has ruled Missouri’s method of executing condemned inmates is not cruel and unusual punishment. That ruling, from a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals , opens the door for the resumption of lethal injection executions in the state.
Executions were halted as a result of a case filed by attorneys representing convicted killer Michael Taylor . U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan had effectively halted executions in the state by ruling he wanted to be sure that Missouri’s method of lethal injection did not cause risk of pain and suffering. Today’s ruling states the court found no evidence to indicate that any of the last six people who were put to death suffered any unnecessary pain that would rise to a violation of the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment.
Taylor was sentenced to death for the 1989 killing of 15-year-old Ann Harrison in Kansas City. His execution was halted in February of 2006. An attorney for Taylor plans an appeal. There has not been an execution in Missouri since Marlin Gray was put to death in October of 2005.