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Missouri to Execute First Inmate Since October, 2003

Missouri's first execution since October 2003 will proceed this evening at one minute after midnight. It's the first execution since Missouri Governor Matt Blunt took office. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Stanley Hall confessed to the 1994 murder of Barbara Jo Wood of St Louis County.

Hall is scheduled to die by lethal injection this evening at the Potosi Correctional Center, just south of St Louis.

Hall's attorney has tried to stop the execution by arguing there's new evidence that Hall is mentally retarded.

Missouri law and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling ban the execution of the mentally retarded.

Despite this push by Hall's attorney, Governor Matt Blunt says it's likely he won't intervene.

But death penalty opponents say they don't want the execution to proceed.

Democratic State Representative Craig Bland has filed legislation that would institute a moratorium on executions so a commission could study whether it's applied fairly.

Bland explains why he opposes the death penalty.

Speaking to the Associated Press by telephone, Stanley Hall said he's in high spirits, but is prepared for the worst.

The brother of the victim, Mark Velcheck told the A-P that Hall should be shown no mercy.