US Supreme Court lifts stay of Missouri execution

Associated Press
FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2011 file photo released by the Missouri Department of Corrections is death-row inmate Herbert Smulls who is scheduled to die by injection one minute after midnight Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 for killing St. Louis County jeweler Stephen Honickman in 1991. The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a stay of execution for Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Justice Samuel Alito signed the order that was sent out Tuesday night after President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Corrections)
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FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2011 file photo released by the Missouri Department of Corrections is death-row inmate Herbert Smulls who is scheduled to die by injection one minute after midnight Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 for killing St. Louis County jeweler Stephen Honickman in 1991. The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a stay of execution for Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Justice Samuel Alito signed the order that was sent out Tuesday night after President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Corrections)

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied last-minute requests to halt the execution of a Missouri man convicted of killing a local jeweler two decades ago.

The high court issued a temporary stay less than three hours before Herbert Smulls was scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

But the court lifted the stay without explanation late Wednesday afternoon, meaning the execution can move forward.

Smulls' attorneys were challenging among other things the state's refusal to disclose where it obtained its lethal injection drug. The state says the name of the compounding pharmacy isn't public record, because it's considered part of the execution team.

The 56-year-old Smulls was sentenced to death for killing Stephen Honickman and badly injuring his wife during a 1991 robbery of their suburban St. Louis store.

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