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Missouri Carries Out Execution After Supreme Court Removes Stays

Missouri inmate Herbert Smulls was put to death late Wednesday night after the U.S. Supreme Court removed two stays.

Smulls was executed for the 1991 shooting death of Stephen Honickman, a Chesterfield jeweler.

Stephen Honickman’s wife, Florence Honickman, was also shot by Smulls. Following the execution, she said the appeals process went on far too long.

“It was a long day. And it could have been done a lot easier — and it was easier on Mr. Smulls. Much more so than it was on my husband and myself,” Honickman said.

Honickman said there’s been too much focus on the pain of the inmate, and not enough on the victims. She called the stays issued by the courts “absurd.”

Drug controversy

The pace of one execution per month is a sharp uptick from recent years past. The state has had problems obtaining the drugs to carry out executions by lethal injection. Now its supplier is a pharmacy that isn’t licensed in Missouri.

Mike O’Connell with the Mo. Department of Public Safety defended the state’s attempts to keep the supplier secret

“Again, this was upheld by the US Supreme Court and it was carried out in a lawful manner,” said O'Connell.

Several lawmakers have called for investigations into how the state gets ahold of the execution drug. Meanwhile, another execution is set for next month.

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