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Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Missouri Executes|10th Man This Year

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (CN) - Missouri executed its 10th prisoner this year Wednesday morning - the most executions in state history.

Paul Goodwin, 47, was pronounced dead at 1:25 a.m., 8 minutes after the execution began. His final meal was a pizza, a cola and chocolate ice cream.

The 10 executions broke Missouri's previous high of nine set in 1999. A combination of a new lethal injection protocol coupled with a backlog of death row inmates who have exhausted their appeals created the spike.

Goodwin's attorney's filed last-minute appeals with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that he suffered from mental disability, had the mental capacity of a child, and was not intelligent enough to be executed.

Some of Goodwin's appeals were rejected without comment late Tuesday. Four Supreme Court justices said they would have granted a stay.

But the execution, originally scheduled for 12:01 a.m., was delayed by about an hour pending Goodwin's final appeals. Those appeals were denied without comment.

Gov. Jay Nixon then denied Goodwin's petition for clemency.

"Paul Goodwin invaded the home a Joan Crotts, a widow, and brutally killed her," Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement. "While her family's feelings of loss will never end, at least they know her killer has paid the price for his actions."

Goodwin killed Crotts, 63, in north St. Louis County on March 1, 1998.

Goodwin had lived in a boarding house next to Crotts, harassed her with insults and threw chicken bones and beer cans in her yard. Prosecutors said his eviction from the boarding house 18 months earlier was the motive for the killing.

Goodwin entered Crotts' home through the back door, hid in her basement overnight and attacked her in the morning. He tried to force Crotts to perform oral sex on him and tried to rape her, then threw her down her stairs and hit her in the head with a hammer.

Family members found Crotts, still alive, several hours later. Crotts was able to tell police what happened to her, but died in surgery.

Crotts' blood was found on Goodwin's clothes and he confessed to the crime.

Missouri's 10 executions tie Texas for the most in the United States in 2014. Missouri, Texas and Florida have combined for 28 of the nation's 34 executions this year.

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