In 2001, a jury convicted Marcellus Williams of the first-degree murder of Felicia Gayle. Williams was sentenced to death. DNA testing of the murder weapon, conducted in 2016, was inconclusive.
In furtherance of the Governor’s constitutional power to grant pardons and executive clemency, state law gives the Governor exclusive discretion to appoint a Board of Inquiry to gather information and make a report to the Governor as to whether or not a person condemned to death should be executed. Section 552.070, RSMo.
Today, Governor Eric Greitens is issuing a stay of execution to appoint a Gubernatorial Board of Inquiry to further consider Marcellus Williams’ request for executive clemency.
“A sentence of death is the ultimate, permanent punishment. To carry out the death penalty, the people of Missouri must have confidence in the judgment of guilt. In light of new information, I am appointing a Board of Inquiry in this case,” said Governor Greitens.
The five members of the Board of Inquiry to be appointed by Governor Greitens will include retired Missouri judges. The Board shall have subpoena power over persons and things, pursuant to state law. At the close of its work, the Board will report and make a recommendation to the Governor as to whether or not Williams should be executed or his sentence of death commuted.
The executive order appointing a Board of Inquiry can be found here: http://on.mo.gov/2vVU6Hj