Missouri Man Executed After Supreme Court Lifts Stay

Execution Drug Missouri

A convicted murderer was executed with a controversial lethal injection in Missouri on Wednesday night after a day-long reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court. Herbert Smulls, 56, who was on death row for murdering a St. Louis jeweler during a 1991 heist, was pronounced dead at 10:20 p.m. central time -- less than two hours before his execution warrant would have expired. Smull was scheduled to die nearly 24 hours earlier, but the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay while the full court weighed two petitions filed by defense lawyers. In Ohio, convicted murderer Dennis McGuire failed to win a reprieve by arguing that an untried two-drug compound could trigger an agonizing phenomenon before death, violating the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

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