Michael Taylor (prisoner)

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Michael Taylor
Born (1967-01-30)January 30, 1967
Died February 26, 2014(2014-02-26) (aged 47)
Criminal charge Murder, rape
Criminal penalty Death penalty
Victims Ann Harrison

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 (February 22, 1974 - March 22, 1989) after abducting her from a school bus stop in Raytown, Missouri on March 22, 1989.[1][2] Taylor was aided by Roderick Nunley (March 10, 1965 - September 1, 2015) who was executed on September 1, 2015 after three Supreme Court issued orders denying a stay of execution for Nunley, who was 50 years old. The appeals pending before the Court questioned the constitutionality of the death penalty, the sentencing of Nunley before a jury rather than a judge, and the secrecy of the state of Missouri in acquiring the drug used to perform the execution.[3]'

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.[4][5]

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.[6]


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