State Supreme Court judges have set up the potential for the first execution in Missouri since October of 2005. The Supreme Court has set a May 20th execution date for Dennis Skillicorn, convicted of killing an Excelsior Springs businessman in 1994. The last person to be executed in Missouri was Marlin Gray, who was executed October 26, 2005. A de facto death penalty moratorium has been in place since as inmates both in Missouri and nationally challenged the constitutionality of lethal injection.
Skillicorn and two other condemned inmates have filed suit in federal court, questioning Governor Nixon’s ability to fairly consider their clemency requests since Nixon served as Attorney General when they were sentenced to the death penalty. In a written statement, Nixon said he would carefully review any petition for clemency submitted by Skillicorn.
Skillicorn and co-defendant Allen Nicklasson were both sentenced to death for killing Richard Drummond in Lafayette County. Drummond had stopped to help the men after their car broke down. A Blue Springs teen-ager who was traveling with the men received a lesser sentenced. [Missourinet.com]