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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri could be on pace to see a record number of executions in 2014, with two more inmates now on the verge of execution dates.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday issued show cause orders in the cases of Leon Taylor and Michael Worthington. The orders give attorneys for the two men until April 14 to show why an execution date should not be set.

Missouri executed two men late last year and has already put to death two other convicted killers in the first two months of 2014 - Herbert Smulls in January and Michael Taylor in February.

Jeffrey Ferguson is scheduled to die March 26 for abducting and killing a teenager in St. Charles County in 1989. Several other inmates have exhausted court appeals.

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