Lawyers for condemned prison inmate Michael Taylor have asked the full federal appeals court to consider whether Missouri’s lethal injection method is constitutional. A three-judge panel of the 8th United States Court of Appeals in St. Louis court ruled a month ago that Missouri’s protocol is not cruel and unusual punishment. The full appeals court has to decide within three weeks whether to hear the case. Taylor came within hours of being executed 18 months ago before a federal judge stopped the proceedings because of questions about the humanity of Missouri’s execution system.
Taylor was sentenced to die for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Ann Harrison of Kansas City. He and companion Roderick Nunley kidnapped Harrison in 1989. Worried that the girl could identify them after the rape, they stabbed her to death.