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Criminal Law : Execution Witness – Right To Select – Security

Where a defendant scheduled to be executed selected his half-brother as a witness to the execution, the statute required the warden to allow the designated individual to serve as a witness despite the warden’s argument that the half-brother would be a threat to security because he was a co-defendant in the crime and the victim’s family would be present, but the warden could invite peace officers to be present to maintain security.

Permanent writ issued.

State ex rel. Leon V. Taylor v. Russell (MLW No. 67234/Case No. SC94602 – 5 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Draper III, J.) Original proceeding in mandamus (Elizabeth Unger Carlyle, Kansas City, Missouri, for relators) (Stephen Hawke, Caroline M. Coulter and Michael J. Spillane for respondent).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)