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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Missouri Execution Would Be First Since Pandemic Began

KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic put a pause on U.S. executions, but that is likely to change as Missouri prepares to execute an inmate for the slaying of an elderly woman nearly three decades ago.

Walter Barton would be the first person executed in the U.S. since Nathaniel Woods was put to death in Alabama on March 5. Soon thereafter, efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus shut down the U.S. economy and led to strict limits on social distancing, including inside prisons.

At least three states have put executions on hold in the intervening 2½ months.