MISSIOURI EXECUTES ANOTHER PRISONER TODAY: WILLIAM ROUSAN PUT TO DEATH

The use of pentobarbital in executions is controversial. Many people believe that it causes undue suffering

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A man convicted of killing a husband and wife was executed just after midnight today in Missouri marking the 6th execution carried out by the state in as many months. William Rousan (57) was administered pentobarbital (a lethal injection) for the killing of Charles Lewis (67) and his wife, Grace Lewis (62) at their farm near St. Louis, Missouri in 1993. Rousan was assisted in the murder by his brother and 16-year-old son; the brother received a life sentence which he is currently serving and the son, who cooperated in the investigation, pled to a lesser charge and has since been released from prison. Following the murders, the bodies had been placed in a shallow grave and then covered with cement and manure. The crimes remained unsolved for nearly a year. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court had turned down a request to delay the execution, and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) denied a clemency request.

COMMENT: The use of pentobarbital in executions is controversial. Many people believe that it causes undue suffering. The issue was further complicated by Missouri’s refusal to name the source of the supplier of the drug. Another man, Russell Bucklew,  is scheduled to be executed May 21st for the 1996 murder of Michael Sanders in Missouri.

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