"U.S. Supreme Court stays Missouri inmate's execution," is by Jim Salter of Associated Press, via St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The appeal to the Supreme Court raised several concerns about legal counsel Christeson has received over the years, including the failure of some of his attorneys to meet a 2005 deadline to file for an appeal hearing before a federal court. It is uncommon for someone to be executed without a federal court appeal hearing.
The high court denied a second appeal challenging the state's planned use of a made-to-order execution drug produced by an unidentified compounding pharmacy.
Christeson would have been the ninth man executed in Missouri this year, matching an all-time high for the state set in 1999. Another execution is scheduled for Nov. 19 when Leon Taylor is set to die for killing an Independence, Missouri, gas station attendant in 1994.
St. Louis Public Radio posts, "U.S. Supreme Court Halts Missouri Execution," by Chris McDaniel.
The Supreme Court granted a temporary stay over concerns that Christeson's case had no federal review. The court is still reviewing the issue, meaning the stay could be removed in time for the execution to be carried out.
Late last week, 15 former state and federal judges asked courts to force the state to hold off on the execution, arguing that Christeson's court-appointed lawyers had abandoned him.
His attorneys missed an important deadline back in April 2005 by 117 days. In fact, they didn't even meet with him until about a month after the deadline had passed. By failing to file a petition, Christeson's case underwent no federal review.
"To permit an execution without further review would cast a pall over the process," wrote the former judges.
"US Supreme Court stays execution of Missouri inmate Christeson," by Bob Priddy at MissouriNet.
Christeson and prison officials got the word shortly before 10 o’clock last night that the court had accepted one of the two appeals before it. Justice Samuel Alito had previously rejected a challenge to the drug protocol used in executions. Similar appeals have gone nowhere in the past.
Critics of the way Christeson’s attorneys have handled the case say the attorneys missed a deadline for seeking federal review by almost four months and did not even meet with Christeson for the first time until one month after the deadline.
The appeals do not dispute his conviction for murdering a Vichy-area woman, her son and her daughter, and throwing their bodies into a central Missouri farm pond in 1998. They focus on the failure of his attorneys to file for federal review of the convictions and sentences. The challenge, filed by three St. Louis University law professors and supported by a number of former state and federal appeals court judges say the continued presence of the two attorneys as representatives of Christeson is a conflict of interest.
"U.S. Supreme Court Stays Missouri Execution," is by Joe Harris for Courthouse News Service.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the execution of a Missouri inmate amid concerns that he lost the right to appeal due to an error by his attorneys.
Fifteen former federal judges filed a motion with the 8th Circuit last week, claiming Mark Christeson was denied federal court review because the court-appointed attorneys who took over his case after the trial missed the deadline to file a federal appeals petition by four months. As a result, the federal court refused to hear the case.
Sarah Turberville, an attorney for The Constitution Project, which is working with the judges, told The Associated Press that it is rare for anyone to face execution without having appealed the case in Federal Court.
Earlier coverage of the stay of execution in Missouri begins wtih the preceding post.