A federal judge halted all executions in Missouri after finding that the state’s execution procedure – largely in the hands of a dyslexic doctor – could cause “unconstitutional pain and suffering,” reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. gave the Missouri Department of Corrections until July 15 to come up with a new lethal injection procedure.
The order to halt executions came as Gaitan amended his ruling in the case of a condemned Kansas City man who faces execution for murdering a 15-year-old girl in 1989. The inmate, Michael A. Taylor, argued that Missouri’s method of execution could force him to suffer unconstitutionally cruel pain and suffering. Taylor was scheduled for execution on Feb. 1. The execution didn’t go forward because of his appeal, but the drugs were prepared, with the doctor who mixes the drugs preparing only half the usual dose of anesthetic.