Appeals court clears way for execution of Missouri inmate

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FILE – This Feb. 18, 2014, file photo, released by Missouri Department of Corrections, shows death row inmate Walter Barton, convicted of killing an 81-year-old mobile home park manager nearly three decades ago now faces execution in May. The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday, May 13, 2020, set a May 19, execution date for Barton (Missouri Department of Corrections via AP, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) – A federal appeals court has cleared the way for a Missouri death row inmate to be executed Tuesday and ordered his petition for post-conviction relief dismissed, despite questions raised about evidence used to convict him.

The Sunday decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacates a 30-day stay of execution granted Friday to 64-year-old Walter Barton by a federal judge.

The execution would be the first in the U.S. since March 5 and is scheduled despite concerns about the coronavirus that prompted other states to postpone lethal injections.

Barton is set to die by lethal injection for the 1991 killing of 81-year-old trailer park operator Gladys Kuehler.

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