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Missouri execution is scheduled for tonight

Convicted murderer Leonard Taylor is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Bonne Terre (undated photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Corrections website)

Barring intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court or a federal judge, a convicted Missouri murderer will be executed tonight in southeast Missouri’s Bonne Terre.

Governor Mike Parson (R) has rejected a clemency request for convicted murderer Leonard Taylor, clearing the way for tonight’s scheduled execution to proceed. The governor says Taylor brutally murdered his girlfriend Angela Rowe and her three children, ages ten, six and five. The murders happened in 2004 in Jennings, which is a St. Louis suburb.

“The evidence shows Taylor committed these atrocities and a jury found him guilty,” Governor Parson says.

The governor says each victim was shot execution-style in the head and elsewhere. The governor also says Taylor has two prior forcible rape convictions, “underscoring a history of violent acts against women.”

There are supporters of Taylor who believe that he is innocent. U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis) has called on Governor Parson to stop the execution, citing what she calls evidence of Taylor’s innocence.

“The death penalty is never justice, it’s always about who has institutional power and who doesn’t,” Congresswoman Bush tweeted Monday.

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