The US state of Missouri on Tuesday (February 8th) executed a man sentenced to death for a quadruple murder he denied, authorities said.
Leonard Taylor, 58, was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m. local time (00:16 GMT Wednesday) from a prison facility in Bonne Terre, in the central United States.
He was sentenced to death in 2008 for the murder of his girlfriend and her three children, aged 5 to 10.
They had been found dead in their house, each shot in the head, on December 3, 2004. According to the medical examiners, they had been dead for a few days.
Confessions under duress
Leonard Taylor has always maintained that they were still alive on November 26, when he left the home, located in Jennings, Missouri, to take a flight to California, on the other side of the country.
During the trial, the prosecutors had assured that he had confessed to the murders to his brother and made his weapon disappear in front of a witness, and the jurors had declared him guilty.
Since then, he had multiplied the appeals to be cleared.
Again on Monday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson had rejected his request for clemency.
“The evidence shows that Taylor did indeed commit these atrocities, a jury found him guilty and the courts all upheld the sentence”
, justified the elected Republican in a press release.
The Innocence Project association, which fights against miscarriages of justice and defends Leonard Taylor, however assures that the testimony of the brother had been obtained under duress and that he had then retracted.
His lawyers recently introduced a testimony from his daughter which assures that he was in California with her at the time of the murders, without succeeding in obtaining a reopening of the file.
They had lodged a final appeal Tuesday before the Supreme Court of the United States, without success.
Leonard Taylor is the fifth death row inmate executed since January 1 in the United States.