Missouri proceeds with execution plans

A condemned inmate in Missouri is scheduled to die next week. If the execution proceeds, it will be the first in the nation since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March.

By

National News

May 14, 2020 - 10:02 AM

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri is moving ahead with plans to execute a man next week, despite new concerns about key evidence that led to his conviction, and despite concerns about the coronavirus that prompted other states to postpone lethal injections.

Walter Barton, 64, is scheduled to die by injection Tuesday for killing 81-year-old trailer park operator Gladys Kuehler in 1991. She was beaten, sexually assaulted and stabbed more than 50 times in the town of Ozark, near Springfield. The execution would be the first in the U.S. since March 5.

Three jurors involved in Barton’s 2006 trial now express misgivings, based on new blood spatter evidence, Barton’s attorney, Fred Duchardt Jr., said Wednesday. The NAACP and Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty submitted more than 5,000 petition signatures Wednesday to Republican Gov. Mike Parson, urging him to grant clemency.

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