Missouri continues to prepare for Rousan execution

Apr 22, 2014

Credit California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

Efforts to spare the life of a condemned Missouri man hinge on an argument that has so far held little sway over the courts.

William Rousan is scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing a southeast Missouri couple on their remote farm 21 years ago. Rousan's attorneys are seeking clemency from Gov. Jay Nixon and have filed federal appeals, both citing concerns that the execution drug obtained from a compounding pharmacy could cause the inmate to suffer before dying.

Several states, including Missouri, now use compounded drugs from unnamed pharmacies. Courts have so far allowed executions to move forward, though some dissenting judges have questioned the practice.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court granted a stay of execution Monday night to two death row inmates who challenged the secrecy of the source of execution drugs used by the state.

Rousan would be the sixth man executed in Missouri in the past six months.