Update: Cecil Clayton died last night at 9:21 p.m. from a lethal injection. Continue reading for a statement from his attorney and Governor Jay Nixon.
Unless his attorneys are able to work some last-minute magic, 74-year-old Cecil Clayton will die tonight at 6 p.m. by lethal injection. This is despite the fact that he is missing about 8 percent of his total brain mass and 20 percent of one frontal lobe (as pictured above), and suffers from dementia. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled on Saturday that Clayton is mentally fit enough to be executed.
The accident that caused the brain injury occurred 24 years before Clayton shot and killed a sheriff's deputy named Christopher Lee Castetter, who was only 29 years old. Clayton shot him at point-blank range while he was seated in his patrol vehicle, his gun still in its holster.
Elizabeth Unger Carlyle, one of Clayton's attorneys, says that while Castetter's death was a "tragedy," Clayton is currently too mentally impaired for execution.
"The problem is that in this country we say that we only execute the worst of the worst. You can see there's a big hole in his right frontal lobe -- that's what controls impulse control and reasoning," she says. "He's just not tracking what really happening, what's going on, he's not able to respond well to it, or even be able to understand what's happening to him in any rational way. And that's just not the person that we ought to be executing."More »