The 14th Execution of 2016
Missouri executed Earl Forrest on May 11, 2016 by lethal injection, marking the state’s first execution in 2016, reported The Atlantic.
A Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman said Forrest was executed at 7:10 p.m. local time at a state prison in Bonne Terre. He was pronounced dead eight minutes later.
Forrest received a death sentence in 2004 for the 2002 slayings of Harriet Smith, Michael Wells, and Dent County police officer JoAnn Barnes.
According to court documents, Forrest went to Smith's house to demand she buy a mobile home and a lawn mower for him, in exchange for his introducing her to someone who could provide her with methamphetamine. He fatally shot Wells in the face during the confrontation, then shot Smith six times, killing her.
Forrest later killed Deputy Barnes during a shootout at his home with law enforcement. He also shot his then-girlfriend, Angela Gamblin and Dent County Sheriff Bob Wofford during the standoff. Wofford and Gamblin survived.
In his final filing to the U.S. Supreme Court, Forrest challenged his death sentence as a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishments. The petition cited Justice Stephen Breyer’s lengthy dissent last year in Glossip v. Gross urging the court to reconsider the death penalty’s constitutionality.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied the last-minute request for a stay of execution on Wednesday with no recorded dissents. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon also issued a statement declining to grant clemency to Forrest hours before the scheduled execution.
Forrest was the 14th person to be executed in the U.S. this year and the 1,436th person executed since the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976.
Executions nationally are on the decline. In 1999, 98 people were executed. That fell to just 28 in 2015 — a 24-year low — and 13 so far in 2016.
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