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2008-10-08MARYVILLE, MO | By: Wayman
A north central Missouri man on death row is at the center of a statewide debate on executions.
Yesterday the state supreme court heard arguments regarding the pending death of John Middleton.
He's the former meth dealer who killed an associate in rural Mercer county after a drug sweep in Cainsville in the summer of 1995.
During the hearing a group of inmates, families, and clergy asked high court justices to throw out Missouri's execution protocol.
At issue is whether the Missouri department of correction's use of several drugs to execute inmates should have been reviewed by the legislature and public comment periods.
This dispute is holding up the scheduled execution of Middleton, which has been delayed several times.
If carried out, Middleton would become the first inmate on Missouri's death row to be executed since the federal supreme court ruled lethal injection is constitutional.