The U.S. Supreme court order a stay in the execution of Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls late Tuesday night, two-and-a-half hours before Smulls was to be executed.
Smulls' lawyer, Cheryl Pilate, made last-minute pleas Tuesday to spare his life, focusing on the state's refusal to disclose the name of the compounding pharmacy that produces the lethal-injection drug, pentobarbital, for use in the execution. But Missouri has argued that the compounding pharmacy is part of the execution team and therefore its name cannot be released to the public.
Pilate contends that the state's secrecy makes it impossible to know whether the drug could cause pain and suffering during the execution process.
There is also a question over whether the state followed proper storage requirements for the drug.