Missouri sets execution date for a man who even prosecutors say is innocent

Cindy Claveau

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"That is not justice": Missouri sets execution date for a man who even prosecutors say is innocent

The Missouri Supreme Court has set an execution date — September 24th at 6 p.m. — for defendant Marcellus “Khaliifah” Williams, despite prosecutors insisting that he is completely innocent.

It is not the first time the 55-year-old has faced execution. On two separate occasions, Williams' execution was halted to conduct further investigation and DNA testing. The results, including DNA on the murder weapon, show no connection between him and the crime.

And now it seems the state’s Republican governor is refusing to free a man who prosecutors say is innocent, setting the stage for him to be put to death for a crime he does not appear to have committed.

On August 22nd, 2017, hours before his scheduled execution, former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens enacted a stay and ordered a board of inquiry to look into Williams' case. Last June, the new Gov. Mike Parson lifted the stay and dissolved the board, claiming that another six-year delay would defer justice and leave the victim’s family in “limbo.”
He ignored the findings from the report created by the five-member board put in place by Greitens. “This board was established nearly six years ago, and it is time to move forward,” he said.

That decision came despite evidence that Williams never should have been convicted based on the claims of a jailhouse informant and an ex-girlfriend who was herself seeking to avoid prison time. No physical evidence was ever presented that linked Williams to the crime.