Michael Taylor (prisoner)

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Michael Taylor (January 30, 1967 – February 26, 2014) was a Missouri prison inmate on death row, convicted of raping and murdering 15-year-old Ann Harrison after abducting her from a school bus stop in Raytown, Missouri on March 22, 1989.[1] Taylor was aided by Roderick Nunley, who is currently on Missouri's death row for the same crime. Taylor and Nunley, by their own admissions in court, were high on crack cocaine at the time of the crime.[2]

Taylor was scheduled to be executed February 1, 2006, but was granted a stay by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, on the grounds that lethal injection in his case could be cruel and unusual punishment. Missouri asked the Supreme Court to vacate the stay, allowing the execution. Justice Samuel Alito, in his first official act on the Supreme Court, voted with the majority (6-3) to refuse Missouri's request. Alito's vote made headlines because he did not vote with Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts, said to be the conservative wing of the court. [3][4]

Taylor was subsequently executed on February 26, 2014 after last minute appeals questioning the reliability of Missouri's new, unnamed supplier of the execution drug pentobarbital were turned down, becoming the fourth person to receive the death penalty in Missouri in four months.[5]

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