Herbert Smulls

A 56-year-old Missouri death row inmate's life was spared on the eve of his execution, the Associated Press reports.

Herbert Smulls received word that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito had signed the order that was sent out Tuesday night after President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. Smulls' lawyers had been making last-minute pleas to spare his life, AP reports. His lethal injection was scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.


Smulls' attorneys focused on the state's refusal to disclose from which compounding pharmacy they received the lethal-injection drug pentobarbital that was to be used on Smulls. Missouri argued that since the compounding pharmacy is part of the execution team, they could not release the compounding pharmacy's name to the public.

Smulls was convicted and sentenced to death in 1991 for killing a St. Louis County jeweler and badly injuring his wife during a robbery, AP reports.

Read more at the Associated Press.

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