Man convicted of raping, killing girl executed in US

Convicted killer Michael Taylor is shown in this Missouri Department of Corrections photo released, on Feb 25, 2014. The US state of Missouri executed early Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014, a man convicted of abducting, raping and killing a teenage girl
Convicted killer Michael Taylor is shown in this Missouri Department of Corrections photo released, on Feb 25, 2014. The US state of Missouri executed early Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014, a man convicted of abducting, raping and killing a teenage girl, US media reported. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US state of Missouri executed early Wednesday a man convicted of abducting, raping and killing a teenage girl, US media reported.

Michael Taylor, 47, was put to death by lethal injection, the Missouri Department of Public Safety said, according to NBC News and other media outlets.

The execution came amid controversy over the chemicals being used to give death row inmates lethal injections in Missouri and other US states.

Taylor's was the fourth lethal injection in Missouri in as many months.

Taylor was sentenced to death over the 1989 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl who was abducted when she got off her school bus.

He was executed after the US Supreme Court denied a last-minute stay.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon also rejected a clemency request.

He turned aside Taylor's pleas based on the state's use of a secret compounding pharmacy for the lethal dose of pentobarbital and for executing previous inmates while they still had appeals pending, NBC said.

Prior to this, the last execution was that of Herbert Smulls, who was declared dead on the night of Jan 29, a little over an hour before the legal period for his execution ended.

Since European manufacturers stopped providing pentobarbital for executions of humans, several states are running low on execution chemicals and turning to new suppliers or products that have not been widely approved.

This has led many US death row inmates to file suits on grounds they fear the new products could subject them to undue suffering.

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