Update: For the sixth time this year, Governor Jay Nixon has declined to grant clemency to a death-row inmate. John Middleton, a former meth dealer convicted of three grisly murders in 1995, was injected with a dose of pentobarbital at 6:58 p.m. He was pronounced dead at 7:06 p.m.
Middleton had spent nearly two decades in prison since his conviction in 1997. He was 54 years old.
Last night, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Perry halted Middleton's execution less than two hours before the 12:01 a.m. deadline, arguing that his mental-health issues "[have] made a significant threshold showing he is incompetent to be executed," and that he should be granted a legal hearing to evaluate his sanity.
In an affidavit, a psychologist who examined Middleton stated he "lacks a rational understanding of the reason for the execution and is therefore not competent to be executed due to a diagnosis of delusional disorder, a psychotic mental illness."More »