The state Department of Public Safety said Michael Taylor, 47, died from a lethal injection at 12:10 a.m. (1:10 a.m. ET), shortly after the high court joined the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in rejecting pleas from his attorneys, who argued that the state’s makeshift execution protocol was cruel and unusual punishment.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon also rejected a clemency request, turning aside Taylor’s pleas based on the state’s use of using a secret compounding pharmacy for the lethal dose of pentobarbital and for executing previous inmates while they still had appeals pending.
Taylor offered no final statement, The Associated Press reported, adding that he took two deep breaths before closing his eyes for the last time.
Anti-death penalty advocates held a vigil Tuesday opposing Taylor’s execution in Springfield, where 10-year-old Hailey Owens was similarly brutally murdered last week.
“Crime deserves punishment,” Bishop Van Johnston of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau told NBC station KYTV of Springfield, Mo. “We’re here to say, basically, that killing someone when you can punish them in another way is not the solution.”