BONNE TERRE, MO(AP) – Attorneys for Missouri inmate Leon Taylor have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution, citing several concerns that led to the death sentence for the convicted killer.
Taylor is scheduled to die early Wednesday for killing gas station attendant Robert Newton in Independence in 1994. Taylor would be the ninth man put to death in Missouri this year.
The appeal notes that Taylor’s original jury deadlocked and a judge sentenced him to death. When that was thrown out, an all-white jury gave Taylor, who is black, the death sentence.
In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that only a jury could impose a death sentence. Taylor’s lawyers argued in Tuesday’s appeal that the original jury did not.