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Missouri Executes Herbert Smulls After U.S. Supreme Court Delays 22 Hours

Categories: Crime

herbsmulls.png
Herbert Smulls
Herbert Smulls, convicted of killing a Chesterfield jeweler during a robbery, was put to death with a lethal dose of pentobarbital -- Missouri's third execution in three months using a drug with controversial origins.

Smulls showed no outward signs of distress during the execution, say witnesses. He did not have any final words. He breathed heavily twice, shut his eyes and died after about nine minutes.

The U.S. Supreme Court delayed the execution by 22 hours to consider defense attorneys' appeals that the lethal drug counted as cruel and unusual punishment because it comes from an unregulated pharmacy the state refuses to name.

See also: U.S. Supreme Court Stays Execution of Herbert Smulls

One final appeal filed 30 minutes before the execution wasn't officially denied until 30 minutes after Smulls was pronounced dead at 10:20 p.m., according to the Associated Press.

Smulls was originally scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m., the earliest possible time to allow for delays.

Smulls was convicted of murdering Stephen Honickman, 51, and shooting his wife, Florence Honickman, during a July 27, 1991, robbery at F&M Crown Jewels in Chesterfield. Florence survived by feigning death in a pool of her own blood after the hold-up.

Smulls was pulled over and arrested fifteen minutes later with stolen jewelry and weapons in his car.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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58 comments
Ed Rook
Ed Rook

I honestly think it's too much power to give our government. Don't get me wrong, there are monsters in and out of prison who don't deserve to breathe another breathe, but giving a flawed system the power to kill just seems like a bad idea. Daniel is right, it does cost more to execute a man than it does to keep home for life. But look at how many times that new DNA technology has proven a convicted man innocent; literally hundreds in MO alone. It's bad enough an innocent man spent years in jail, but at least we can release him. If he were put to death, that's not reversible. One innocent life is too high a price to simply get revenge on the guilty, in my opinion. Because that innocent man could very well be me or one of you someday.

Emmett Hefele
Emmett Hefele

Murder someone in Missouri in a robbery you should die adios pos.

Sharon Johnson
Sharon Johnson

I like it better when MO did not have the death penalty there for a while, hard to believe its been reinstated.

Jerry Talken
Jerry Talken

Didn't somebody say thou shalt not kill?

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

(I think there are more than a few people that would agree with me that a murder's value is pretty much set at $0. They have no worth. No value. In those terms, it's quite simple to define someone's value.)

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

My point is a counter to your post. You were suggesting that you hate seeing tax dollars going to people in prison. Well, more money is spent to put them to death. Plus, how is it just to define someone's value by dollars anyway?

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

But we can't just eliminate that legal system, especially considering how many innocent people have been put to death. Therefor, it must be considered in this discussion. It is a real cost. If you get rid of the right for a person to appeal there might be some things in the constitution you may also want to eliminate.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

I certainly understand the logic of a death sentence as deterrence, but the facts highly dispute that it is. I feel like the fact that people feel the need to insult me and not discuss actual facts in this forum just proves that they have no legitimate argument. I feel like they just want the death penalty because they want the death penalty.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

Mike Feller, but that just isn't the case and the research IS there to prove my point. "States in the United States that do not employ the death penalty generally have lower murder rates than states that do. The same is true when the U.S. is compared to countries similar to it. The U.S., with the death penalty, has a higher murder rate than the countries of Europe or Canada, which do not use the death penalty."

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

Why do so many people feel the need to insult me? Why can't we actually discuss the issues?

Ryan Wallis
Ryan Wallis

Kill more of these shit bags....you kill in cold blood you get killed. Fuck you

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

daniel... you're a blowhard. as a society we want our violent criminals off our planet. accept it. use your energy to clean up trash off the highway or feed homeless people.

Mike Feller
Mike Feller

Daniel - what no one can quantify is the number of people who didn't follow through with a premeditated murder because they feared the consequence of the death penalty. If the death penalty has prevented even 1 murder, then it is worth it.

Mike Feller
Mike Feller

the fact that it costs less to house a prisoner for life vs. following through with the death penalty says more about our legal system than it does about the merits of the death penalty. The actual cost to put them to death is less than $100 in drugs.

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

Sometimes we're willing to pay more to see justice served. If I had much greater financial resources (Warren Buffett, etc), I'd fork over the cash, myself.

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

I agree! Are you a defense lawyer? The 'deterrent' thing is way down the line. It's punishment for the crime committed.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

Except that it has been proven that the death penalty is not a deterrent for other criminals.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

The death penalty costs more than live in prison.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

Yes, I would. For one thing it costs more to put someone to death than it does to give them a life sentence. And secondly, you want to fix society? Education is the biggest key AND the biggest money saver. While I would never define a life simply by how much it costs, the realities of the death penalty are often misunderstood. AND me wanting someone dead does not mean they should be dead. If I wanted someone dead, I would be wrong.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

Thank you. I choose bleeding heart over no heart. :) Peace!

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

uuuuugh. there's always a bleeding heart.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

good. make them public again and sell tickets.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

So, there are plenty of examples in the world of people moving past hate and seeking forgiveness. I just pray that I would be able to do so if put in the same position.

Twana Wangler
Twana Wangler

Work behind those walls and then tell the world how they don't deserve to die. Listen to them brag about what they've done, then you can spread your bleeding heart crap.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

Michael J Keller, while I pray that I will never have the chance to prove you wrong, you do not know that. With all due respect, there are plenty of victims' families out there that do not support the death penalty. Just off the top of my head, family members in some pretty high profile cases would disagree with you (Matthew Shephard, OK City bombing - a father named Bud Welch). I believe that no good comes from the death penalty and I can't believe for one second that it is what God wants of us. So, please don't make assumptions about what I would do. For what it is worth, me wanting someone put to death who hurts a family member of mine would not make me correct. I would be wrong for seeking that form of revenge.

Tim Chance
Tim Chance

I suggest a wood chipper. Cruel, perhaps but not unusual as you see it in horror movies all the time. So it would not be "cruel and unusual", just cruel but effective.

John Wenzel
John Wenzel

The point of executions is to ease crimes of this magnitude. To let people know you will die if you commit this act of violence.

Gary Muich
Gary Muich

Another animal we dont support no more! Good news!

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

Daniel Stout: I'm willing to place a fat wager on the fact that if the next victim is that beautiful child that you are holding in your hands in your profile pic, your tune would change, and it would change both quickly and drastically. Some people 'just don't get it' unless that ball is in their home court. Can you possibly be any more unempathetic? I have two cousins in my IMMEDIATE family that are famous serial killers, Henry Lee Lucas and Donald Leroy Evans. (Go ahead - Google them) One died in prison from heart failure, and the other had his throat slashed while in prison. Between the 2 of them, they had 140 victims. Yes, they are my immediate family members, and yes, they BOTH deserved to die much more painfully than they did. (The two serial killers in my family are just one chapter in a very busy book, which is another show for a different day. FWIW, I am a 'good witch', not a 'bad witch'. I use my talents and abilities to make the world a better place, rather than to use them the way *many* of my relatives have.

Vanessa D Dowe
Vanessa D Dowe

They need to kill their ass sooner show ppl that u do the crime u get the punishment no sponging off tax payers for the next 20years or more!

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

Finally! We're catching up! I hate to see tax dollars supporting the lives of fools who - in whatever grotesque and cruel manner - snuffed out the life of an innocent person. Let's try this: NOT paying for a criminal's upkeep, pecking them off quickly and in the same manner in which their victim(s) died, and using the money that would have been used to keep them alive in prison, instead, to educate and rehabilitate the homeless. Sounds like a plan to me. I'm a huge fan of that "eye for an eye" thing.

Matt McElwrath
Matt McElwrath

How can it be considered cruel and unusual punishment. The goal is for the death row inmate to die..I mean, it is called LETHAL INJECTION.

Luke Valleroy
Luke Valleroy

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind..

Don Barnett
Don Barnett

Stephen, at least he can correctly form a sentence.

TinaSparkle
TinaSparkle

@Jerry Talken ------   Yes.

The God that destroyed the earth full of men, women, and children in the time of Noah.

Also, the same genocidal God who destroyed every man, woman, and child in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And the same serial killer God who destroyed the firstborn son of every Egyptian family during the time of Moses .....

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