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22 April 2024

Man convicted of raping, killing girl executed in US


The US state of Missouri on Wednesday executed a man convicted of abducting, raping and killing a teenage girl.

Michael Taylor, 47, was put to death by lethal injection, the Missouri Department of Public Safety said.

The execution came amid controversy over the chemicals being used to give death row inmates lethal injections in Missouri and other US states.

Taylor's was the fourth lethal injection in Missouri in as many months.

He was sentenced to death over the 1989 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl who was abducted at a school bus stop.

Taylor was executed after the US Supreme Court denied a last-minute stay.

He was pronounced dead at 12:10 am (0510 GMT) and made no final statement.

He declined to order a special last meal and was served a state-issued meal that included potato soup and a sandwich, the department said.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon also rejected a clemency request.

Nixon issued a statement asking the people of Missouri to remember the young girl killed, Ann Harrison. He noted that Taylor had pleaded guilty, was convicted and sentenced to die.

"That punishment has now been carried out," Nixon said.

He turned aside Taylor's pleas, which were based on the state's use of a secret compounding pharmacy for the lethal dose of pentobarbital and for executing previous inmates while they still had appeals pending, NBC News said.

Prior to this, the last execution was that of Herbert Smulls, who was declared dead on the night of January 29, a little over an hour before the legal period for his execution ended.

Since European manufacturers stopped providing pentobarbital for executions of humans, several states are running low on execution chemicals and turning to new suppliers or products that have not been widely approved.

This has led many US death row inmates to file suits on grounds they fear the new products could subject them to undue suffering.