Execution will be first since 2005

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | 9:50 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court says it plans to set a date for the state’s first execution since 2005.

The court on Tuesday announced that it would issue a warrant to execute John Middleton on Sept. 17. Middleton was convicted of killing three people in 2005 to hide his northern Missouri methamphetamine operation.

Middleton’s execution had been set for July 30, but that was postponed while courts decided whether the state’s method of executing prisoners by chemical injection was constitutional.

A federal judge ruled on July 15 that the state’s procedure was constitutional.

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