The Supreme Court issued several orders in the case last night. In one order denying writ of certiorari, Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justices Sotomayor and Kagen, dissented.
For reasons well stated by Judge Bye in his statement calling for Eighth Circuit rehearing en banc, I would grant the stay and consider the petition for certiorari in the ordinary course.
"Missouri executes man for '89 rape, killing of teen," is the Associated Press report, via the Daily Journal.
A Missouri inmate was executed early Wednesday for abducting, raping and killing a Kansas City teenager as she waited for her school bus in 1989, marking the state’s fourth execution by lethal injection in as many months.
Michael Taylor, 47, was pronounced dead shortly at 12:10 a.m. at the state prison in Bonne Terre. Federal courts and the governor had refused last-minute appeals from his attorneys, who argued that the execution drug purchased from a compounding pharmacy could have caused Taylor inhuman pain and suffering.
Taylor offered no final statement. He mouthed silent words to his parents, two clergymen and other relatives who witnessed his death. As the process began, he took two deep breaths before closing his eyes for the last time. There were no obvious signs of distress.
St. Louis Public Radio posts, "Missouri Executes Second Inmate This Year - First With New Drug Source," by Chris McDaniel. It's via KBIA-FM.
Taylor was the first Missouri inmate to be executed with a drug made by the state's new (and secret) compounding pharmacy. The previous one bowed out after facing a lawsuit once its identity got out.
Taylor's attorneys argued the supplier was changed at the last minute, taking away any opportunity for oversight.
"Utterly nothing is known about this pharmacy," his lawyers argued. "Has it been cited for violating federal and state laws more or less often than the previous pharmacy?"
The previous supplier was not licensed to sell in this state. It had also been cited in the past by its own state Board of Pharmacy.
Unlike previous executions, the state did not provide a testing report on the purity and potency of the drug, but said the said the execution would be "rapid" and "painless."
Compounding pharmacies aren't like drug manufacturers. Drug manufacturers are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, while compounding pharmacies are not. Manufactured drugs have a high assurance that the drugs are of a certain quality, while compounding pharmacies' products have a much higher failure rate.
"Michael Taylor executed by Missouri using compounded pentobarbital," is the Guardian report.
In their appeal Taylor’s attorneys questioned Missouri’s use of an unnamed compounding pharmacy to provide pentobarbital. They also cited concerns about the state executing inmates before appeals were complete and argued that Taylor’s original trial attorney was so overworked that she encouraged him to plead guilty.
The Oklahoma-based compounding pharmacy Apothecary Shoppe agreed last week that it would not supply the pentobarbital for Taylor’s execution, which left Missouri to find a new supplier. The attorney general, Chris Koster, later disclosed that a new provider had been found but refused to name the pharmacy, citing the state’s execution protocol that allows for the manufacturer to remain anonymous.
Taylor’s attorneys argued use of the drug from an unspecified source could cause an inmate pain and suffering because no one could check if the maker was legitimate and had a record of producing safe drugs.
The official makers of pentobarbital refuse to sell it for executions.
"Killer of Missouri schoolgirl executed after appeals dismissed," is by Carey Gillam of Reuters. It's via the Chicago Tribune.
Before his execution, Taylor told Reuters that he had great remorse for his crime and said it was fueled by crack cocaine.
"I hurt for her family... No words can express the pain and anguish that they have lived with through the years. I can only wish them peace, and pray there will come a day when they can forgive me," Taylor said.
Taylor's family had sought for his death sentence to be converted to life in prison.
"It may be a small victory for the State of Missouri but Michael has won in the end," Taylor's family said in a statement.
"He has struggled for years with the guilt of not stopping a horrendous crime, and has dedicated much of his time in prison to the memory of Ann Harrison through his work with hospice, tutoring and mentoring inside and outside the prison walls," the statement said.
It was the ninth execution in an American death penalty state this year; the 1,368th post-Furman execution since 1977. It was Missouri's second execution this year, and it 72nd in the modern era.
Earlier coverage from Missouri begins at the link.