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February 1, 2017

Missouri completes fourth execution in US in 2017

As reported here by the AP, "nearly 19 years to the day that Susan Brouk and her two children were taken to a Missouri pond and killed, one of the men responsible for the crime was put to death Tuesday." Here is more:

Mark Christeson was given a lethal injection -- Missouri’s first execution since May. Christeson, 37, was hours away from execution in 2014 when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay. This time, though, the court allowed the execution to proceed, and Gov. Eric Greitens declined a clemency request for Christeson, the first inmate to be put to death since the Republican took office.

As the execution drug was administered, Christeson appeared to mouth “I love you” a couple times to people who were gathered to watch the lethal injection on his behalf.  Soon, the inmate’s eyes closed.  He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. CST, eight minutes after the lethal injection, a Department of Corrections spokesman said.

The killings of Brouk, her 12-year-old daughter, Adrian, and 9-year-old son, Kyle, traumatized the rural area around the south-central Missouri town of Vichy.  “It was a heinous crime. I’m just happy to see justice finally served,” said Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman, who witnessed Christeson’s execution.  “I have regrets for the family that it took so long, but I hope it provides closure to them.” ...

The U.S. Supreme Court intervened in 2014 amid concerns about the ineptitude of Christeson’s earlier lawyers, who missed a 2005 deadline to file a federal appeal of his death sentence -- standard procedure in death penalty cases. Attorneys for Christeson again argued that he deserved a federal court review, and raised concerns about his mental competence, claiming he had an IQ of 74. But this time, the courts declined to step in.

Missouri executed 16 men from 2014 to 2015, second only to the 23 executions in Texas over the same two years.  Last year, Missouri had just one execution, largely because most of the 25 men on the state’s death row have appeals remaining or are unlikely to be executed due to medical or mental health concerns.

I have flagged that this execution was the fourth in the US in January 2017 because that is the most in a single month since last January.

February 1, 2017 at 01:04 AM | Permalink


Good. Glad to see that states are finally figuring out how to properly administer 1 2 and 3 drug cocktails. Time for trump to make FDA provide states the drugs to guarantee availability from US or foreign sources. While he is at it Trump needs to start denying federal justice dept funds to any state NOT having a death penalty law on the books. EQUAL protection NOW! #KILLtheKILLERS

Posted by: DeanO | Feb 1, 2017 8:26:23 AM

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