Missouri prepares for first execution in 2 years

Monday, February 7, 2011 | 8:18 a.m. CST; updated 5:26 p.m. CST, Monday, February 7, 2011

ST. LOUIS — Prison officials in Missouri are continuing preparations for the state's first execution in nearly two years.

Martin Link is scheduled to die by injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday at the prison in Bonne Terre for the kidnap, rape and murder of 11-year-old Elissa Self in 1991. The St. Louis girl disappeared while walking to her school bus stop.

Link's attorney has filed appeals questioning whether Missouri's dwindling supply of one of the execution drugs has caused shortcuts in execution rehearsals, possibly creating a situation where Link could suffer cruel and unusual punishment.

Corrections Department spokesman Chris Cline says the state is adequately prepared for the execution, and has plenty of the drug, sodium thiopental, in stock.


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