Chris McDaniel

Beyond November reporter

Chris McDaniel reports for Beyond November, a collaborative reporting project of St. Louis Public Radio, Nine Network of Public Media and the St. Louis Beacon. #BeyondNov

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Death Penalty
7:49 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Missouri Executes Inmate, Third This Year

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 11:33 am

At 12:01 Wednesday morning, Missouri executed inmate Jeffrey Ferguson, marking the state's fifth execution in as many months.

Ferguson was put to death for the brutal murder and rape of a 17-year-old St. Charles County girl. The crime occurred in 1989, and the victim’s father, Jim Hall, said the punishment was long overdue.

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Government
7:15 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Missouri Executes Second Inmate This Year - First With New Drug Source

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:06 pm

Wednesday's execution of Michael Taylor marked the state's fourth in as many months - a dramatic uptick from recent years.

The state put Taylor to death for abducting, raping and killing a 15-year-old girl in 1989. Gov. Jay Nixon called the crime "wanton" and "heinous" in a statement denying clemency and said the death penalty was the appropriate punishment.

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Lethal Injection
8:11 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Missouri Has A New Execution Drug Supplier

via Flickr/Nottingham Vet School

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 10:02 am

Although the state's previous drug supplier says it will not supply for the next execution, Missouri says it's found another willing pharmacy.

On Monday, the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma reached a settlement with an inmate who had sued the pharmacy. Although the terms were confidential, the pharmacy agreed to not sell to Missouri for its upcoming execution.

In a court filing Wednesday evening, the state said inmate Michael Taylor was trying to cut off the supply of the state's execution drug.

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Government
5:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Another Federal Judge Criticizes Missouri For Haste In Carrying Out Executions

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:31 pm

Missouri's recent executions have sparked controversy lately -- not just for the secrecy and the source of the execution drug but also for the state's speed in carrying them out.

The Department of Corrections has carried out three executions in as many months. In all those cases, the inmate still had appeals pending at the time the state executed him.

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NPR Story
8:57 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Oklahoma Pharmacy Agrees To Not Sell Execution Drug To Missouri

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:54 pm

After a lawsuit filed by a death-row inmate, the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma has agreed to not sell to Missouri for its upcoming execution.

Last week, a federal judge ordered the pharmacy to hold off on selling the drug to Missouri until further review. Before that could take place, however, the pharmacy and the inmate came to an agreement.

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Government
4:13 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Judge Orders Pharmacy Not To Sell Execution Drug To Missouri, For Now

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:42 pm

Update: Governor says the state is prepared to proceed regardless.

Update: Pharmacy hopes documents will be secret

A federal judge has ordered an Oklahoma-based pharmacy not to sell the Missouri Department of Corrections its execution drug, at least until a hearing scheduled for next week.

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Government
8:15 am
Tue February 11, 2014

After Controversy Surrounding Executions, State Officials Testify Before House Committee

Department of Corrections Director George Lombardi testifies before the House Committee on Government Oversight.

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:30 pm

Despite the controversy over how Missouri has carried out its past three executions, a state House hearing on Monday revealed little that hasn't already been reported:

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Lethal Injection
8:28 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Missouri Carries Out Execution After Supreme Court Removes Stays

Missouri inmate Herbert Smulls was put to death late Wednesday night after the U.S. Supreme Court removed two stays.

Smulls was executed for the 1991 shooting death of Stephen Honickman, a Chesterfield jeweler.

Stephen Honickman’s wife, Florence Honickman, was also shot by Smulls. Following the execution, she said the appeals process went on far too long.

“It was a long day. And it could have been done a lot easier — and it was easier on Mr. Smulls. Much more so than it was on my husband and myself,” Honickman said.

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Government
7:41 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Missouri Carries Out Execution After U.S. Supreme Court Removes Stays

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 1:28 pm

Updated at 1:41 a.m., Thurs., Jan. 30

Missouri inmate Herbert Smulls was put to death late Wednesday night after the U.S. Supreme Court removed two stays. He was pronounced dead at 10:20 p.m.

It was the state's third execution in as many months. The pace of one a month is a sharp uptick from recent years past, when the state has had problems getting a hold of execution drugs.

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Government
7:34 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Inmates' Lawyers Ask Mo. Board Of Pharmacy To Act Before Execution

A container of pentobarbital. Missouri's execution drug isn't like this one though, which is made by a manufacturer. The state is instead relying on a compounding pharmacy to emulate the drug.
via Flickr/Nottingham Vet School

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:36 pm

Lawyers representing death row inmates have filed a complaint with the Missouri Board of Pharmacy, citing St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon’s investigation from earlier this week.

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Lethal Injection
9:09 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Investigation: Missouri's Execution Drug Source Raises Legal, Ethical Questions

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 1:11 pm

In an investigation spanning the past few months, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon has discovered the state of Missouri may be ignoring its own laws in carrying out the death penalty by buying execution drugs from a pharmacy not licensed to do business in Missouri.

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Lethal Injection
8:07 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Mo. Carries Out Execution After Court Vacates Stays

Joseph Paul Franklin.
(Missouri Department of Corrections)

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 1:10 pm

Update 7:52 a.m 11/20/13:

Missouri carried out the execution of Joseph Paul Franklin a little after 6 a.m. He was put to death after courts overturned Tuesday's stays of execution.

Yesterday, two federal judges issued stays of execution.

The judges took issue with how the state was getting its lethal injection drug from a secret source not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and questioned whether the inmate was mentally competent to be executed.

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Government
2:29 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Missouri Moving Forward With Executions, Despite Secrecy Over Drug Supply

Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

A month ago, St. Louis Public Radio reported on the questionable manner in which the state of Missouri got ahold of its potential execution drug. Now Missouri has a new plan to go ahead with two upcoming executions, but the process is anything but open.

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Government
10:03 am
Thu November 7, 2013

See Which Missouri Legislators Took Gifts From Lobbyists

Credit St. Louis Public Radio/NPR

In partnership with NPR, St. Louis Public Radio has created a new website to keep track of all the gifts Missouri state lawmakers have been receiving from companies and organizations that have lobbyists at the capitol in Jefferson City. And, the information is searchable and downloadable. 

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Government
4:47 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Execution Drug Sources No Longer Public After Mo. Rule Change

A picture of propofol, a drug Mo. was planning to use for lethal injection. Under the state's new rule, showing who made or supplied the drug would be illegal.
Credit Veronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

Two weeks ago, Gov. Jay Nixon instructed the Missouri Department of Corrections to come up with a new procedure for carrying out lethal injections.

On Tuesday, the department announced that it had chosen a new execution drug: pentobarbitol. But the state also made a change that will end up making it harder, if not impossible, to know where the drugs come from.

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Government
8:04 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Following Controversy, Missouri Selects New Execution Drug

On Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Corrections announced that it had selected a new drug for upcoming executions: pentobarbital.

The change comes following criticism of the questionable methods by which Missouri obtained the drug it had previously planned to use, as well as concern that its use could harm hospitals throughout the U.S. The state had planned to use a common anesthetic named propofol, which has never been used to carry out an execution.

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Government
8:33 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Gov. Nixon Changes Plans, Halts Execution Using Controversial Drug

Gov. Jay Nixon has halted the first lethal injection execution scheduled to use the drug propofol.
Credit Veronique Lacapra / KWMU

On Friday, Gov. Jay Nixon postponed the execution of an inmate that was set for later this month. That execution was going to be carried out using propofol, a common anesthetic that has never been used in a lethal injection before. So why the change in plans?

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NPR Story
8:22 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Mo. Attorney General Accuses Walgreens Of 'Deceptive Pricing Schemes,' Files Lawsuit

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 4:46 pm

Updated 5:12 p.m. with comment from Walgreens.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is accusing Walgreens of engaging in false and deceptive pricing schemes, that he said amounts to stealing. In St. Louis Tuesday, Koster announced a lawsuit against the company.

Koster had investigators go to stores across the state, and said they found display tags were often inaccurate, and that membership rewards didn’t always deliver on the price reduction.

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Government
8:07 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Missouri Speaker Says Tax Veto Override Unlikely

The income tax bill that would eventually reduce income tax rates by about a half of a percent is likely to not be brought up in veto session next month, according to Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones a Republican from Eureka.

Jones said he currently doesn't have the votes necessary for an override of the governor's veto.

"Overriding the veto would be monumental at this point," Jones said. "I likely would not attempt an override."

Jones added that lawmakers' stances on the bill could be in flux.

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Government
8:16 am
Fri July 19, 2013

In St. Louis, Nixon Goes On Offensive Against Income Tax Bill

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:37 am

Expect to see a lot of ads leading up to September, paid for largely by one man. Libertarian Rex Sinquefield has given nearly $2.4 million to groups backing a possible cut to Missouri's income tax.

In response, Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has gone on the offensive, attacking the income tax bill and defending his veto.

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Government
9:22 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Nixon Signs Legislation Dealing With Children, Dismisses Call For Session On School Transfers

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 8:51 am

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation allowing parents more time to give up newborns, requiring screening for a heart defect and dealing with mandatory reporters of child abuse.

Nixon held a bill signing ceremony Tuesday at St. Louis Children's Hospital. In front of dozens of doctors and child advocates, the Democratic governor signed a bill that he said will close a loophole for child abuse reporting.

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Government
9:18 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Missouri Legislators Got $730K In Gifts From Lobbyists During Session

With May's lobbying numbers in, and Missouri's legislative session completely behind us, we now have a complete picture of Missouri's lobbying system.

With the final tally, legislators took in $731,000 from lobbyists hoping to gain influence. All of this took place in just five months.

May's findings

As usual, the vast majority of May's lobbyist spending went to groups instead of individual legislators. Lobbyists spent about $70,000 on groups and committees, which don't disclose the recipients.

A few noteworthy gifts in May:

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Government
9:29 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Why Missouri's Lobbying System Isn't As Open As You'd Think

Nice restaurants in Jefferson City should be sad to see the Missouri Legislative session end. They’ve received tens of thousands of dollars worth of business from lobbyists courting Missouri’s legislators over dinners and drinks.

Who were the legislators taken out for expensive meals? Well, in many cases, we don’t really know.

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Government
1:58 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Who Are Missouri's Biggest Lobbyists?

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:12 am

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Government
7:41 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Blunt, McCaskill At Odds Over Background Check Bill

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:04 am

Missouri’s U.S. Senators are divided on a bill that would expand background checks to more gun buyers. Republican Blunt has indicated that he does not support the bill, while Democrat Claire McCaskill says she will.

On a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, McCaskill said Congress needs to do something to try to prevent mass shootings.

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Government
7:40 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Mo. Legislators Received More Than $330,000 From Lobbyists In Two Months

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:14 am

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Government
4:14 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Missouri Senators Disagree About Gun Control

Mo. Senator Roy Blunt has said he does not think stricter gun control laws will help prevent violence.

After the tragedy in Connecticut, many are now looking to Congress and the President to enact legislation that will curb gun violence. But Missouri’s Senators don’t agree on what that response should be.

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Election 2012
8:55 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Nixon Re-Elected, Defeats Spence

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, left, defeated Dave Spence, right, in the Mo. governor's race Tuesday.
Nixon: via Missouri Governor’s website, Spence: courtesy Alpha Packaging

In a state that went overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney, Democrat Jay Nixon was re-elected to a second term as governor of Missouri. 

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Government
10:18 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Jobs Are The Focus Of Race For Missouri Governor

Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and his Republican challenger Dave Spence.
Nixon: via Missouri Governor’s website, Spence: courtesy Alpha Packaging

Four years ago, Missouri Democratic Governor Jay Nixon was elected by 19 points--a landslide. But this time around, it may not be so easy for him.

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Government
4:55 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Akin On ‘Dog’ Comment: Everybody Knew What I Meant

Republican Congressman Todd Akin is defending his statement comparing his opponent, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, to a dog.

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