New DNA Evidence Cited As Missouri Governor Stays Execution of Prisoner Marcellus Williams
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens issued a last-minute stay of execution for death-row prisoner Marcellus Williams just hours before he was slated to be put to death on Tuesday night. The order came after evidence surfaced showing that the DNA on the murder weapon did not match Williams’s. Williams, who is African American, was convicted in 2001 of killing a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle, who is white, during a robbery. He was convicted by 11 white jurors and 1 black juror, after the prosecution was allowed to preemptively strike out 6 other prospective black jurors. Williams has always maintained his innocence. Amnesty International and other groups are now urging the Missouri governor to grant Marcellus Williams clemency.