Missouri Executioner Had a Criminal Past
We've written before about the problems in Missouri with executioners -- most notably, the dyslexic doctor who administered the fatal cocktail.
Now, the New York Times recaps last week's St. Louis Post Dispatch article about a nurse on the state's execution team who had a criminal record and was on probation:
Before a Missouri executioner could go to Indiana in 2001 to help federal authorities put mass killer Timothy McVeigh to death, he had to take care of one detail:
He needed permission from his probation officer to leave the state.
The Post-Dispatch named the nurse, even though a state law was passed after the dyslexic doctor was identified prohibiting disclosure. The paper explains why it is naming the nurse: [More...]
In the accompanying article, we reveal that a licensed practical nurse from Farmington who has been involved in lethal-injection executions of death-row inmates in the Missouri and the federal prison systems has his own criminal history.
We reveal that state and federal officials were aware of that history and, in 2001, gave special permission for the nurse, who was under probation restrictions, to continue on their execution teams and even travel to Indiana for the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. We also reveal the name of the nurse.
We do so knowing the state of Missouri seeks to protect the identity of its executioners. We do so because we believe the public benefit of lifting this cloak of secrecy outweighs privacy concerns. We strongly believe that how the state and federal governments handled this situation provides valuable insight for the public into a secretive execution process at the center of a controversial national debate — and a much-watched U.S. Supreme Court case.
UPI names the nurse as well.
The NY Times article reports that the lawyers for five death row inmates have filed requests with the court for disclosure of the names of all execution team members.
As to the nurse, the Times reports:
The nurse was charged in 1998 with felonies for allegedly stalking and damaging the property of a man who had a relationship with his estranged wife.
He pleaded no contest to misdemeanors and received a suspended imposition of sentence. That cleared his record once he served two years of probation. A check of the nurse's license record showed no discipline.
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