Missouri Plans To Move Ahead With Execution, Despite Pandemic
Missouri is moving ahead with plans to execute a convicted killer on May 19, unlike other states that have postponed executions during the coronavirus pandemic.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that Gov. Mike Parson is not planning to postpone the execution of Walter Barton.
Barton, 64, will be executed for the 1991 fatal stabbing of 81-year-old Gladys Kuehlerw, who managed the Riverview Mobile Home Park near downtown Ozark, Mo.
Barton's attorney, Frederick Duchardt Jr., told the Associated Press that the state is about to execute an innocent man, saying Barton had the victim's blood on his shirt because he helped identify the victim and the key witness was reportedly not reliable.
He was sentenced to death June 28, 1994.
Other states have put executions on hold because of the risks of spreading the virus and social distancing restrictions on the size of gatherings. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Karen Pojmann says each of the three execution witness rooms will be limited to 10 or fewer people, in accordance with the state's coronavirus restrictions.