08 February 2023 :
FEBRUARY 7, 2023 - Leonard “Raheem” Taylor, 58, Black, was executed.
Taylor was executed at the state prison in Bonne Terre. Karen Pojmann, of the Missouri Department of Corrections, said the lethal drug pentobarbital was administered to Taylor at 6:07 p.m. Taylor kicked his feet as the 5 grams of pentobarbital were administered, then took five or six deep breaths before all movement stopped. In a final statement, Taylor said Muslims don't die but "live eternally in the hearts of our family and friends."
"Death is not your enemy, it is your destiny. Look forward to meeting it. Peace!" he wrote in the statement. He was pronounced dead roughly nine minutes later at 6:16 p.m. (l’1 e 16 (dopo mezzanotte) dell’8 febbraio in Italia)
Taylor, who previously went by the first name Leonard, was convicted in 2008 (see HoC 29/02/2008 and 27/04/2008) in the November 22, 2004 murders of his girlfriend Angela Rowe (age 28) and her three children: Alexus Conley (age 10), AcQreya Conley (age 5) and Tyrese Conley (age 5).
Taylor always claimed his innocence, saying he was in California when the murders occurred. His supporters included the national NAACP, nearly three dozen civil rights and religious groups and the Midwest Innocence Project.
But Taylor's innocence claims were turned aside time and again.
Taylor becomes the 2nd inmate to be put to death this year in Missouri, the 95th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1989, the 5th in the U.S. this year, and the 1,563rd overall since the nation resumed executions in 1977.