Missouri Execution of Child Killer Inhumane?


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Time ran out for Michael Taylor.

The state of Missouri executed him a few hours ago. He was announced dead at 12:01 Wednesday morning.

With Taylor entering his final hours of life, his defense attorney tried desperately to get a stay of execution on the grounds of "violations of equal protection and due process". But federal courts and the governor would not hear his final appeal.

The 47-year-old was sentenced to die in 1989 after being convicted for the abduction, rape, and murder of an adolescent girl.

Roughly twenty-four years have passed since then.

With no outlets willing to listen to Taylor's appeal, there were no remaining obstacles to keep the state of Missouri from putting the inmate to death.

A source of Taylor's concerns, and to a great extent that of many onlookers, is that the chemicals used by death penalty states make the process of dying extremely painful. A painful death could therefore make the use of lethal injection inhumane.

In fact, those arguing against these new execution chemicals fear that death row inmates are being used as virtual guinea pigs.

States where the death penalty is an option are having a great deal of difficulty getting their hands on "old reliable" versions of injection fluids (sodium thiopental and potassium chloride) used to kill those on death row.

An Oklahoma compounding pharmacy flat out refused to provide the state of Missouri with the mix of drugs needed to kill Taylor.

Death penalty states turned to compounding pharmacies to mix the lethal injection chemicals after Hospira, a company solely responsible for making sodium thiopental, stopped producing it.

Another blow came when companies in Europe, who manufacture chemicals needed for lethal injections, refused to export them. These anti-death penalty institutions balked at the idea of their products being used to end human life.

Missouri insisted that even without drugs from those sources, the state would still find a way to put Taylor to death. It is not currently known which source came through for the state at the last minute as the state is refusing to name the provider of the lethal injection chemicals used to put Taylor to death.

The Associated Press is reporting that Taylor showed no signs of distress during his execution.

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