List of people executed in Missouri

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A total of 68 individuals convicted of murder have been executed by the state of Missouri since 1976. All were by executed by lethal injection. All executions in Missouri were suspended between June 26, 2006, and June 4, 2007, due to a federal court ruling (see below). Executions resumed on May 20, 2009.



The first person executed in the modern era was George Mercer who was executed at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri on January 6, 1989.[1] The next 61 executions starting with Gerald Smith were done at the Potosi Correctional Center in Potosi, Missouri. Since 2005, executions have been 25 miles east of Potosi at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. The first execution at Bonne Terre was #63 Donald Jones. Missouri does not have a "Death Row".

Typically, the death warrant will be read to the inmate (handed down from the Missouri Supreme Court) 30 days prior to the date of execution. At this point, the inmate is either moved to protective custody or remains in solitary isolation. One week prior to the execution date, the inmate is moved to the medical confinement unit. This is to ensure that the inmate's interaction with other inmates and visitors is closely monitored. There is no contact allowed with the condemned inmate at this time. Three days prior, a medicinal regiment is started. Anxiolytics are started, and the inmate's religious instructor and legal services are the only ones allowed to see the inmate. For the last 24 hours, the inmate chooses his or her final meal. He or she is medicated for anxiety as needed. The viewing gallery is set up. One hour before the time, the inmate is offered last rites. Ten minutes before the time, the inmate is either wheeled into the chamber in a wheelchair, or he or she may walk. At this point, the doctors will place two central lines. Then, the three doctors will exit to a room behind the chamber. During this time, the witnesses have been led in, with the victim(s)'s witnesses entering from one side of the unit and the inmate's witnesses from the other side. When ready, the curtains will be opened. The inmate will be read the warrant again, and asked for any last statements. The warden is present and will give the order shortly after midnight. The three doctors will simultaneously push a button to start the machine to begin the process. After a doctor pronounces the inmate as expired, the curtains are closed. The witnesses are then escorted out of the facility, and the coroner retrieves the body, as the room is classified as a crime scene. The death certificate will read "cause of death: Homicide-legal:___________" (the space is for the warrant number). Once the body has left the facility, it will be announced over the radio that "the new inmate count is__, begin count." Each housing unit will conduct a count, and there will be no change, except that now the medical unit will report a count of zero inmates. The command will confirm the count, then order the Emergency Squad to stand down.


Executed personDate of executionVictim(s)Presiding governor
1George MercerJanuary 6, 1989Karen KeetonJohn Ashcroft
2Gerald SmithJanuary 18, 1990Karen RobertsJohn Ashcroft
3Winford L. Stokes, Jr.May 17, 1990Pamela BrendaJohn Ashcroft
4Leonard Marvin LawsMay 17, 1990John SewardJohn Ashcroft
5George Clifton GilmoreAugust 21, 1990Mary Luella WattersJohn Ashcroft
6Maurice Oscar ByrdAugust 23, 1991Judy Cazaco, James Wood, Edna Ince, and Carolyn TurnerJohn Ashcroft
7Ricky Lee GrubsOctober 21, 1992Jerry ThorntonJohn Ashcroft
8Martsay BolderJanuary 27, 1993Theron KingMel Carnahan
9Walter Junior BlairJuly 21, 1993Kathy Jo AllenMel Carnahan
10Frederick LasleyJuly 28, 1993Janie TracyMel Carnahan
11Frank Joseph GuinanOctober 6, 1993John McBroomMel Carnahan
12Emmitt FosterMay 3, 1995Travis WalkerMel Carnahan
13Larry GriffinJune 21, 1995Quintin MossMel Carnahan
14Robert Anthony MurrayJuly 26, 1995Jeffrey Jackson and Craig StewartMel Carnahan
15Robert T. SidebottomNovember 15, 1995Mary Sidebottom.Mel Carnaha
16Anthony Joe LaretteNovember 29, 1995Mary FlemingMel Carnahan
17Robert Earl O'NealDecember 6, 1995Arthur Dale.Mel Carnahan
18Jeffrey Paul SloanFebruary 21, 1996Jason SloanMel Carnahan
19Doyle James WilliamsApril 10, 1996A. H. DomannMel Carnahan
20Emmett Clifton NaveJuly 31, 1996Geneva RolingMel Carnahan
21Thomas Henry BattleAugust 7, 1996Birdie JohnsonMel Carnahan
22Richard OxfordAugust 21, 1996Harold Wampler and Melba WamplerMel Carnahan
23Richard Steven ZeitvogelDecember 11, 1996Gary Wayne DewMel Carnahan
24Eric Adam SchneiderJanuary 29, 1997Richard Schwendeman and Ronald ThompsonMel Carnahan
25Ralph Cecil FeltropAugust 6, 1997Barbara Ann RoamMel Carnahan
26Donald Edward ReeseAugust 13, 1997James Watson, Christopher Griffith, John Buford, and Don VanderlindenMel Carnahan
27Andrew Wessel SixAugust 20, 1997Kathy AllenMel Carnahan
28Samuel Lee McDonald, Jr.September 24, 1997Robert JordanMel Carnahan
29Alan Jeffrey BannisterOctober 24, 1997Darrell RuestmanMel Carnahan
30Reginald Love PowellFebruary 25, 1998Freddie Miller and Arthur MillerMel Carnahan
31Milton Vincent Griffin-ElMarch 25, 1998Jerome ReddenMel Carnahan
32Glennon Paul SweetApril 22, 1998Russell HarperMel Carnahan
33Kelvin Shelby MaloneJanuary 13, 1999William Parr (he was also sentenced to death by the state of California)Mel Carnahan
34James Edward Rodden, Jr.February 24, 1999Terry Trunnel and Joseph ArnoldMel Carnahan
35Roy Michael RobertsMarch 10, 1999Tom JacksonMel Carnahan
36Roy Ramsey, Jr.April 14, 1999Garnett Ledford and Betty LedfordMel Carnahan
37Ralph E. DavisApril 28, 1999Susan DavisMel Carnahan
38Jessie Lee WiseMay 26, 1999Geraldine McDonaldMel Carnahan
39Bruce KilgoreJune 16, 1999Marilyn WilkinsMel Carnahan
40Robert Allen WallsJune 30, 1999Fred HarmonMel Carnahan
41David R. LeisureSeptember 1, 1999James A. Michaels, SrMel Carnahan
42James Henry HamptonMarch 22, 2000Frances KeatonMel Carnahan
43Bart Leroy HunterJune 28, 2000Mildred Hodges and Richard HodgesMel Carnahan
44Gary Lee RollAugust 30, 2000Sherry Scheper, Randy Scheper and Curtis ScheperMel Carnahan
45George Bernard HarrisSeptember 13, 2000Stanley WilloughbyMel Carnahan
46James Wilson ChambersNovember 15, 2000Jerry Lee OestrickerRoger B. Wilson
47Stanley Dewaine LingarFebruary 7, 2001Thomas Scott AllenBob Holden
48Tomas Grant ErvinMarch 28, 2001Mildred Hodges and Richard HodgesBob Holden
49Mose Young, Jr.April 25, 2001Kent Bicknese, James Schneider and Sol MarksBob Holden
50Samuel D. SmithMay 23, 2001Marlin MayBob Holden
51Jerome MallettJuly 11, 2001James F. FroemsdorfBob Holden
52Michael S. RobertsOctober 3, 2001Mary L. TaylorBob Holden
53Stephen K. JohnsOctober 24, 2001Donald VoepelBob Holden
54James R. JohnsonJanuary 9, 2002Deputy Sheriff Leslie B. Roark, Pam Jones, Sheriff Charles Smith, and Deputy Sheriff Sandra WilsonBob Holden
55Michael I. OwsleyFebruary 6, 2002Elvin IversonBob Holden
56Jeffrey Lane TokarMarch 6, 2002Johnny DouglassBob Holden
57Paul W. KreutzerApril 10, 2002Louise HemphillBob Holden
58Daniel Anthony BasileAugust 14, 2002Elizabeth DeCaroBob Holden
59William Robert Jones, Jr.November 20, 2002Stanley AlbertBob Holden
60Kenneth KenleyFebruary 5, 2003Ronald FeltsBob Holden
61John Clayton SmithOctober 29, 2003Brandie Kearnes and Wayne HoewingBob Holden
62Stanley L. HallMarch 16, 2005Barbara Jo WoodMatt Blunt
63Donald JonesApril 27, 2005Dorothy KnucklesMatt Blunt
64Vernon BrownMay 17, 2005Janet Perkins (he was also under sentence of death in the murder of Synetta Ford)Matt Blunt
65Timothy JohnstonAugust 31, 2005Nancy JohnstonMatt Blunt
66Marlin GrayOctober 26, 2005Julie Kerry and Robin KerryMatt Blunt
67Dennis SkillicornMay 20, 2009Richard DrummondJay Nixon
68Martin LinkFebruary 9, 2011Elissa SelfJay Nixon

Temporary suspension

On June 26, 2006, U.S. District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City suspended Missouri's death penalty after lengthy hearings on the matter. Judge Gaitan reasoned that the state's lethal injection protocol did not satisfy the Eighth Amendment because (1) the written procedures for implementing lethal injections were too vague, and (2) the state had no qualified anesthesiologist to perform lethal injections. Jay Nixon, the Missouri Attorney General, promptly appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis.

The Eighth Circuit held oral argument in the case on January 10, 2007, and a decision was released on June 4, 2007. The case is number 06-3651, Taylor v. Crawford. The Court reversed the decision of the district court and vacated the injunction, allowing for the death penalty to resume. The court found:

The first execution since Gaitan's ruling was on May 20, 2009. This suspension was partly due to a national de facto moratorium while the Supreme Court of the United States decided Baze v. Rees. The court set the first Missouri post-Baze execution date in June 2008. For various reasons no executions were conducted until May 20, 2009[2] [3]

See also


  1. ^ Missouri Death Row - Retrieved May 20, 2009
  2. ^ Jeremy Kohler, Court holds back Missouri execution, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 15 2008.
  3. ^ Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty [1]

External links