A major move from the U.S. Supreme Court today, affecting the enforcement of the death penalty in Missouri. The court denied hearing the Clemons v. Crawford case. Attorney General Chris Koster explains the implications:
“The Missouri death penalty protocol has been tangled up in the federal courts on and off for more than two years now. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision should clear the final hurdles and legitimize the constitutionality of Missouri’s death penalty protocol and we can now go forward with these death penalty cases,” Koster said.
Executions in Missouri had been put on hold by the Eighth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals while the case was reviewed. That Court’s ruling led to the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The basic argument that was put forth in the Clemons v. Crawford case was that the three drug protocol caused paralysis but then one of the drugs that was injected into the defendant’s body would cause excruciating internal suffering prior to death. That case the federal courts decided was no proven, and the U.S. Supreme Court said that the Missouri three-drug protocol, the same standard that is used in most of the 50 state that have the death penalty, is constitutional,” Koster said.
He is wasting no time getting the process started again.
“We will now go back to the Missouri Supreme Court and in appropriate cases where all the federal appeals have been run, we will go ahead and ask the Missouri Supreme Court to set execution dates,” Koster said.
Koster says he’s already asked the Missouri Supreme Court to set an execution date for Joseph Franklin, a ‘neo-Nazi murderer’ who shot three people outside a St. Louis synagogue, killing one of them. Franklin also killed four other people in incidents in Utah and Wisconsin and bombed a synagogue in Tennessee.