Man convicted of raping and killin minor, executed in US

Published Feb 26, 2014, 7:28 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 9:58 am IST
Michael Taylor. (Photo- AP)
 Michael Taylor. (Photo- AP)

Washington: A Missouri inmate was executed early on Wednesday for abducting, raping and killing a Kansas City teenager as she waited for her school bus in 1989, marking the state's fourth execution by lethal injection in as many months.

Michael Taylor (47) was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. Federal courts and the governor had refused last-minute appeals from his attorneys, who argued that the execution drug purchased from a compounding pharmacy could have caused Taylor inhuman pain and suffering.

Taylor offered no final statement. He mouthed silent words to his parents, two clergymen and two other relatives who witnessed his death. As the process began, he took two deep breaths before closing his eyes for the last time.

The victim, 15-year-old, was on her driveway, carrying her school books, flute and purse, when she was abducted by Taylor and Roderick Nunley. The men pulled her into their car, took her to a home, then raped and fatally stabbed the teenager as she pleaded for her life.

Nunley had also been sentenced to death and is awaiting execution.

In their appeals, Taylor's attorneys questioned Missouri's use of an unnamed compounding pharmacy to provide the execution drug, pentobarbital.

They also cited concerns about the state executing inmates before appeals were complete and argued that Taylor's original trial attorney was so overworked that she encouraged him to plead guilty.

After using a three-drug execution method for years, Missouri switched late last year to pentobarbital. The same drug was used in three previous Missouri executions, and state officials said none of the inmates showed outward signs of distress.

Still, attorneys for Taylor said using a drug from a compounding pharmacy, which unlike large pharmaceutical companies are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, runs the risk of causing pain and suffering during the execution process.

The Oklahoma-based compounding pharmacy Apothecary Shoppe agreed last week that it wouldn't supply the pentobarbital for Taylor's execution, which left Missouri to find a new supplier. But Attorney General Chris Koster's office disclosed that a new provider had been found. Koster refused to name the pharmacy, citing the state's execution protocol that allows for the manufacturer to remain anonymous.

Taylor's attorneys said use of the drug without naming the compounding pharmacy could cause the inmate pain and suffering because no one could check if the operation was legitimate and had not been accused of any violations.



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