Update: January 29, 2014
Although the Supreme Court of the United States has lifted the stay of execution for Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls, a stay of execution granted by the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals remains in effect, according to Herbert's lawyer and spokesman for Missouri's Department of Corrections. The stay was granted over concerns about the effectiveness of the execution drugs. Herbert's attorney also argues that a black woman was improperly excluded as a possible jury. If the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals lifts the stay before midnight CST, the execution could proceed.
Update: January 29, 2014
The United States Supreme Court has withdrawn the stay of execution granted last night, allowing the execution of Herbert Smulls in Missouri allowing the execution to proceed. The execution should occur before midnight.
Update: January 28, 2014
United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has signed an order to temporarily stay the execution of Herbert Smulls, originally scheduled for 12:01 am CST. The order was signed shortly after President Barak Obama concluded his State of the Union speech. The stay is temporary until the Court reviews Herbert's case. Herbert and his attorney argue that the secrecy surrounding how Missouri obtained the execution drug and from whom, prevents assurances that Herbert will not experience pain during his execution. Herbert's attorney is asking that the information be publically released. Missouri claims that the compounding pharmacy is part of the execution team and its name cannot be released. Should the Supreme Court of the United States lift the stay of execution within 24 hours, the execution can be carried out.
Update: January 28, 2014
Attorneys for Herbert Smulls have been attempting to obtain a stay of execution over concerns regarding the lethal injection process. Herbert's attorneys have asked that the name of the compounding pharmacy be released, along with the name of the physician who wrote the prescription, and the laboratory results of the drug testing. By a vote of 7-3, with one justice not participating, the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeal has ruled that unless Herbert's attorneys can point to a more "humane" method of execution, then they are not entitled to know more about the compounding pharmacy that makes the execution drugs. With this ruling, the full court overturned an earlier decision of a three-judge panel. Herbert's lawyers were ordered to destroy documents they had obtained with the name of the compounding pharmacy and instructed that they were not allowed to use that information in future appeals or investigations.
Update: January 21, 2014
Herbert Smulls’ execution is scheduled to occur at 12:01 am on January 29, 2014, at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Fifty-six-year-old Herbert is convicted of killing Stephen Honickman during the robbery of Stephen’s jewelry store. Herbert has spent the past 21 years on Missouri’s death row.
Herbert's attorneys have filed an appeal requesting a stay of execution due to Missouri's secretive drug protocol. They are asking that Missouri release the name of the compounding pharmacy used to create the drug to be used in Herbert's execution. They are also alleging that the compounding pharmacy used is not authorized in Missouri. Additionally, they claim that the drug to be used in Herbert's execution is past its expiration date.
Stephen and Florence Honickman were the owners and operated of a jewelry store, which typically had customers call and make an appointment to examine jewelry for sale. In July of 1991, a man, who identified himself as Jeffry Taylor, called and made an appointment to buy a diamond. The appointment was scheduled for July 22.
Jeffry Taylor, who was later identified to be Herbert Smulls, and his friend, Norman Brown, went to the store on July 22 and viewed several diamonds. They left without making a purchase. On the afternoon of July 27, they returned to the store, but were told to come back later. That evening, Smulls and Brown returned and, after viewing some diamonds, went out into the hallway, allegedly to discuss pricing.
Florence looked up when Smulls and Brown re-entered the room and saw Smulls aiming a pistol at her. Florence ran and hid behind a door. Smulls fired three shots at her, hitting her in the arm and side. Smulls then fired three shots at Stephen. All three shots hit Stephen. Smulls and Brown then stole several items from the store and jewelry worn by Florence and Stephen. Florence called the police after Smulls and Brown left. Stephen died from his wounds. Florence survived but suffered permanent injuries.
Smulls had eleven prior felony convictions. Smulls claims that he is a nonviolent, amicable person who was abandoned at childhood and impoverished. Smulls failed to graduate from high school. Additionally, he alleges that he is helpful towards friends and family and that he cares for his children.
Please pray for peace for Florence. Please pray for peace for the families of Stephen and Florence. Please pray for strength for the family of Herbert Smulls. Please pray that Herbert may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.