A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to overturn a stay of execution for condemned inmate John Winfield, who is scheduled to be executed just after midnight tonight.
A federal judge issued the stay Friday based on arguments that Corrections Department Officials pressured a worker at the prison where Winfield was held not to write a letter in support of clemency for Winfield. The Attorney General’s Office argues that point is moot because Governor Jay Nixon (D), who decides whether clemency is granted, has received a copy of a letter of support from that worker.
The Attorney General has appealed for a hearing before the full 8th Circuit Court.
An application for a stay made by Winfield’s attorneys to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is still pending.
Winfield was sentenced to death for the 1996 murders of Arthea Sanders and Shawnee Murphy.