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Missouri sets execution date for man convicted of killing woman, kids

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri’s Supreme Court has scheduled an execution for a man convicted of killing a woman and her two children even as five legal groups press a federal appeals court to spare him.

Missouri’s highest court on Wednesday set Mark Christeson’s execution date for Jan. 31. It’s the only execution currently scheduled in Missouri. The state’s last execution was in May.

Three national criminal defense associations, a civil rights law firm and the American Bar Association have an appeal pending with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

The U.S. Supreme Court previously intervened in Christeson’s case hours before a scheduled execution in 2014, saying his court-appointed attorneys were ineffective because they missed a federal appeals deadline. Most capital cases are appealed through the federal courts.