Missouri Asks Supreme Court for Go-Ahead for Execution

Article excerpt

Missouri has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to clear the way for the execution Wednesday of Doyle J. Williams, condemned in 1981 for the murder of a potential witness against him in a burglary case.

Williams, 48, was convicted of murdering Dr. Albert H. Domann of Auxvasse, Mo., and got a life sentence for that killing. He faces the death penalty for murdering Kerry Brummett of Jefferson City, the roommate of a man who took part in a burglary of Domann's office in April 1980.

The burglary was part of a failed effort to obtain narcotics from a pharmacy in Columbia, Mo. Auxvasse, a town of about 820 residents, is 25 miles east of Columbia. Domann, 68, had been a doctor in Auxvasse since 1938. Williams used to live in nearby Fulton, Mo. Williams' execution by lethal injection is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Wednesday at the Potosi Correctional Center. But on Thursday, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals assured a delay so it can hear Williams' latest appeal on May 13. On Friday, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon responded by asking the Supreme Court to dismiss that appeal and allow the execution to go forward. Williams has been on death row since November 1981. "This is an effort by Doyle Williams to outpaper the courts, and we don't believe he should be rewarded for that," Nixon said. "We've dealt with all of these issues previously." Opponents of capital punishment plan to hold vigils Tuesday in St. Louis and Columbia and then meet outside the prison near Potosi, Mo. Margaret Phillips of St. Louis, spokeswoman for the Eastern Missouri Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, said she hoped the Supreme Court protected the delay. "But we have to be ready," she said of plans for the vigils. "We've been caught before thinking a stay was really definite and it wasn't." As for the state appeal to the Supreme Court, she said, "Nixon seems to believe that his job entails killing as many people as he can." Missouri has executed 18 people since 1989, when it resumed the punishment. …