The state supreme court has upheld the death sentence of prison inmate Leonard Taylor, who was convicted of killing his girlfriend and her three children in 2004. Taylor had claimed his lawyer proivided an inadequate defense. The court has rejected that argument. The children were ten, six, and five years old when they and their mother were shot to death at her home in St. Louis. Full decision of the court.
Death row inmate Reginald Clemons is in court today, arguing that he not only does not deserve a death sentence; he does not deserve to be in prison at all. The state supreme court has appointed a special judge to recommend what the court should do. Clemons is one of four people convicted in the deaths of two sisters who were raped and thrown off the Chain of Rocks bridge in St. Louis. A male cousin of the girls was forced to jump into the river survived.
Clemons says his confession, which he has recanted, was beaten out of him. Clemons almost was executive in 2009 before a federal appeals court blocked it. One of the other men onvicted has been executed. A second one is service life and a third one is on parole.
Attorney General Chris Koster submitted for filing similar versions of the attached motion in the Missouri Supreme Court today regarding the following capital murder cases:
State v. David Barnett
State v. Cecil Clayton
State v. Andre Cole
State v. Paul Goodwin
State v. Herbert Smulls
State v. Walter Storey
State v. Leon Taylor
State v. Michael Worthington
State v. David Zink
The Attorney General is requesting these dates to fulfill the sentences handed down by the courts and ensure that justice is served. Attorney General Koster’s motions indicate that no legal impediments remain for the Supreme Court to set execution dates.
Below is a statement from Dave Dormire, Director of the Division of Adult Institutions, Missouri Department of Corrections:
“The Department has adopted a new one-drug execution protocol, using propofol (also known as Diprovan), which will be administered intravenously. The one-drug protocol replaces the state’s previous three-drug protocol. This change became necessary due to the unavailability of sodium thiopental, one of the three drugs used under the previous protocol.”
A copy of lethal injection protocol.
From the Missourian: “Circuit Judge Gael Wood has directed attorneys on both sides of a capital murder case to file briefs over concerns raised by a Missouri Supreme Court judge in a 1988 death sentence case.”
“Judge Wood set a Thursday, May 3, deadline for defense and prosecution post trial briefs in the case of Vernell Loggins Jr., 39, of Pacific. In February, a Franklin County jury found Loggins guilty of first-degree murder and recommended that he be sentenced to death for the Nov. 3, 2009, murder of Stephanie Fields, Pacific.”
“Judge Wood continued the case to Tuesday, April 17, for sentencing, but later passed the case to Monday, May 21, after researching an issue regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Gerald Smith.
Smith, who was found guilty of murdering a woman in 1981, was sentenced to death in the case. On appeal, the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed Smith’s conviction and the death penalty ruling. He was executed in 1990.”
The state supreme court has upheld the death sentence of a man who shot up the St. Louis County Courthouse twenty years ago. The court is unanimous in denying all of Kenneth Baumruk‘s claims that the judge and his lawyer in his murder trial made mistakes. The judges say some of Baumruk’s claims lack any merit.
Baumruk shot and killed his wife during a court hearing on their divorce. He also wounded her attorney, his attorney, and a court bailiff. He shot at and missed the judge who fled through a door.
Baumruk eventually was shot nine times by courthouse security officers, including twice in the head. His head wounds kept him from going to trial for several years until he was deemed mentally competent. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 2001.
Baunruk, who turned 73 last Friday, is the oldest person under a death sentence in Missouri.