Supreme Court orders stay of execution

ST. LOUIS (AP/KSDK) - The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a stay of execution for Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls.

Justice Samuel Alito signed the order that was sent out Tuesday night.

Smulls' lawyer says the stay is temporary while the high court reviews the case, but she is hopeful it will become permanent. She had made last-minute pleas to spare Smulls' life, focusing on the state's refusal to disclose from which compounding pharmacy they obtain the lethal-injection drug, pentobarbital. Missouri has argued the pharmacy is part of the execution team, so its name can't be released.

Prison officials will reconvene in Bonne Terre at noon on Wednesday to be on standby to carry out the execution should the court rule the execution can move forward. The order for Smulls execution is valid through 11:59 pm Wednesday.

Smulls was convicted of killing a St. Louis County jeweler and badly injuring his wife during a 1991 robbery.

The 56-year-old had been scheduled for lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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