Court denies 19-year-old’s request to witness her father’s execution by the state of Missouri
A 19-year-old high school student says she requested an email from a friend who would have been allowed to witness the death of her father at the hands of the state of Missouri.
Kaneshia Bynum says she wanted to show the letter her father wrote to her when she was 2 years old.
Bynum told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “It was the only way I could prove he was innocent.”
Bynum is one of 11 adults and teenagers represented by the ACLU in a federal lawsuit over Missouri’s execution protocol.
According to the ACLU, the Missouri Department of Corrections used an outdated lethal injection protocol in the execution of Bynum’s father, Michael, on Wednesday night.
During an execution the state of Missouri uses a three-drug cocktail, one of them being a sedative. That drug, usually midazolam, is given as a pre-dose to the anesthesiologist before the lethal injection is administered. Midazolam was added to Missouri’s cocktail for the first time in 2004 after a series of botched executions.
Midazolam has been linked to an irregular heartbeat that led to the death of Timothy Caughman, who took his own life last year.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, the ACLU says, “The only proper purpose of an execution by injection is to kill an individual.”
The state of Missouri is not a named defendant in the suit.
An attorney for the Missouri Department of Corrections said they will not comment on the lawsuit. Officials from the Missouri Department of Corrections did not return to The Associated Press the AP’s request for comment.
Bynum said her father struggled with addiction for more than a decade before dying in a drug-induced state in September