A national group that says it tries to reach consensus on difficult constitutional issues, and a number of former state and appellate judges warn that the execution of Mark Christeson tomorrow night would “cast a pall” over the judicial process. They claim Christeson has been denied his legal rights.
Mark Christeson was 18 when he and a 17-year-old cousin murdered a woman and her two children and threw their bodies into a pond near Vichy in 1998. He is the only condemned Missouri prisoner whose case has not been reviewed at the federal level.
The judges and the Constitution Project are asking the Eighth District federal appeals court to stay the execution and to throw Christeson’s attorneys off the case.
Constitution Project counsel Sarah Turberville says Christeson’s lawyers missed the deadline by 117 days for filing a federal appeal and that’s why they should no longer represent him. She says it’s a conflict of interest for his attorneys to represent him because they have “blown any attempt he would have at federal review.”
Turberville says the issue is not whether Christeson should be executed—an issue the lawyers, judges, and the Constitution Project does not address She says it’s about whether he is being denied his constitutional rights of federal review of his death sentence.
Christeson is to be executed just after midnight tomorrow night.
Read the Christeson case file.