This week’s lethal injection execution of convicted murderer Dennis Skillicorn at the prison in Bonne Terre could open the gates to many more executions in the coming months. That’s the view of Attorney General Chris Koster , who says Wednesday morning’s ending of a three-and-a-half year unofficial moratorium on use of lethal injection will likely lead to a return to regularly scheduled executions.
"The death penalty structure has been closed down in the State of Missouri for about three years because of federal challenges to the manner in which the death penalty was carried out," said Koster. "Those federal hurdles have now been cleared. Skillicorn’s execution, this week, was the first of many that I think we’re going to begin to deal with now in Missouri."
Another execution has been scheduled for next month, and Koster thinks this is what we can expect from now on.
"My guess is that for the near future," said Koster. "We will see one execution probably every month as these individuals come up in the court system."
The reason for the return to regularly scheduled executions has to do with the fact legal concerns regarding the death penalty have been addressed.
"I think that the legal concerns that stopped the death penalty process in the state over the last three years have been cleared," said the Attorney General. "And the Supreme Court and the various federal courts have essentially given the green light for Missouri and other states to continue their system of dealing with inmates on death row."
The next scheduled execution at Bonne Terre is that of Reginald Clemons , who is sentenced to die for his role in the 1991 deaths of two women who were raped and shoved off the Chain of Rocks Bridge into the Mississippi River near St. Louis.