Federal Courts Stay Mo. Execution
POTOSI, Mo. (AP) _ A convicted killer’s execution was delayed by a federal appeals court, which ruled just hours before the scheduled lethal injection that a prosecutor tampered with a witness.
Mose Young had been scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing three men at a St. Louis pawn shop 17 years ago in an argument over a gold-plated stickpin he tried to pawn.
The U.S. Supreme Court later refused to vacate the appellate court stay, postponing the execution indefinitely.
A spokesman for Gov. Mel Carnahan said the governor would not decide on a request for clemency until after all appeals were exhausted.
On Tuesday, about six hours before the execution time, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled that prosecutor Dee Joyce-Hayes had interfered with a witness. The court ordered a federal court judge in St. Louis to reconsider Young’s appeal.
Young’s attorney, Joseph Margulies, argued that the witness wanted to offer information that could help Young receive clemency from Carnahan. The witness, an attorney who now works for Joyce-Hayes, would have been willing to describe how poorly Young was represented during his trial, Margulies said.
Joyce-Hayes allegedly threatened to fire the attorney if she testified for Young.
Joyce-Hayes denied the allegations. ``It was never my intention to interfere with Mose Young’s due process of law,″ she said.