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Executions will resume in Missouri

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO. – The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Missouri's three-drug method of lethal injection does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

It reverses a decision by Federal Judge Fernando Gaitan in Kansas City in a case involving condemned killer Michael Taylor.

Gaitan had ordered reforms and required that an anesthesiologist be present at executions.

John Fugier, spokesman for Attorney General Jay Nixon, says they'll move forward with resuming executions.

"We will be going about determining which inmate's cases have progressed to the point where an execution date can be requested of the Missouri Supreme Court," Fugier said.

Governor Matt Blunt also says he'll direct the Department of Corrections to prepare to resume executions.

Rita Lynhardt of the Missouri Catholic Conference says they're disappointed with the ruling.

"There is still a real need for Missouri to have a halt on executions, because we really believe that there are flaws with the system that haven't been addressed by this particular ruling," Lynhardt said. "If they want to see justice done, they really need to look at the death penalty system, and to impose a moratorium."

However, both Governor Matt Blunt and Attorney General Jay Nixon are happy with the decision.

There are currently 47 Death Row inmates in Missouri.