Missouri governor issues stay of execution for Marcellus Williams

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens issued a stay of execution late last month for Marcellus Williams based on new DNA evidence. The stay was issued hours before Williams was scheduled to die by lethal injection. At the same time, the governor announced the creation of a new five-person Board of Inquiry, which will review Williams’s case, and make a recommendation as to whether he should be granted clemency.

Williams was scheduled to be executed for the murder of 42-year-old Felicia Gayle, who was stabbed to death in her home in August 1998.

A recent DNA test, that wasn’t available during Williams’s 2001 trial, revealed that his DNA was not found on the murder weapon.

In a statement, Greitens, a Republican, said that “A sentence of death is the ultimate, permanent punishment. To carry out the death penalty, the people of Missouri must have confidence in the judgment of guilt.”

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