In Missouri, death penalty abolitionists are calling on Republican Governor Mike Parson to cancel Tuesday’s planned execution of Leonard “Raheem” Taylor, a Black man who has always maintained his innocence. Taylor was convicted on four counts of first-degree murder over the 2004 killing of his girlfriend and her three young children. Witnesses say Taylor was 2,000 miles away from the scene of the crime at the time of the murders. Taylor recently spoke from prison with Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
Leonard “Raheem” Taylor: “No, I didn’t. No, I did not. Not only did I not commit the crime, but, one, like I said, there was no motive. You know, I had no reason to commit the crime. I wasn’t even in the state of Missouri when these murders took place.”
Attorneys from the Innocence Project say Taylor’s lawyer “effectively abandoned him,” providing an incompetent defense at trial. They’re asking Governor Parson to delay the execution until a thorough investigation can be completed.