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Governor Nixon Denies Clemency to Man Scheduled for Execution

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Governor Jay Nixon has denied a clemency petition for 56-year-old Herbert Smulls, scheduled to be executed early tomorrow by lethal injection for the 1991 murder of a St. Louis County jewelry store owner.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Governor Jay Nixon has denied a clemency petition for 56-year-old Herbert Smulls, scheduled to be executed early tomorrow by lethal injection for the 1991 murder of a St. Louis County jewelry store owner.

Herbert Smulls (courtesy, Missouri Department of Corrections)

Herbert Smulls (courtesy, Missouri Department of Corrections)

In a statement, Nixon says he has reviewed Smulls’ case, saying the decision is not one he takes lightly.

Herbert Smulls shot and killed Stephen Honickman and seriously wounded Florence Honickman in a cold-blooded and deliberate manner during a robbery of their jewelry business in Chesterfield,” says Nixon. “A career criminal, Smulls was apprehended by law enforcement shortly after the murder with stolen jewelry still in the car.

“These crimes were brutal, and the jury that convicted Smulls determined that he deserved the most severe punishment under Missouri law. Both the conviction and the death sentence of Herbert Smulls have held up under extensive judicial review by the state and federal courts. My decision on clemency upholds the action by the jury and the decisions by the courts.

“I ask that Missourians remember Stephen Honickman at this time, and keep Florence Honickman and the family and friends of the Honickmans in their thoughts and prayers.”

Some residents in Springfield, Mo. gathered Tuesday to protest the execution.

"We really wonder if by killing another human being and causing pain to another family of that really does bring closure to them,” SAYS Donna Walmsley, of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Smulls is scheduled to be executed just after midnight Wednesday morning at the Eastern Reception and Diagnostic Correctional Center at Bonne Terre, Missouri.

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