Governor issues stay of execution for convicted murderer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Governor Eric Greitens issued a stay of execution Tuesday for a convicted murderer after new DNA evidence was found to be inconclusive.

Marcellus Williams was found guilty of the murder of Felicia Gayle in 2001 and later sentenced to death. New DNA tests on the murder weapon in 2016 caused Williams' attorneys to request executive clemency. Gov. Greitens requested a Board of Inquiry be launched into Williams' request.

"A sentence of death is the ultimate, permanent punishment," Gov. Greitens said. "To carry out the death penalty, the people of Missouri must have confidence in the judgment of guilt."

Gov. Greitens will appoint the members of the board. They will include retired Missouri judges who, at the end of their investigation, will issue a report and recommendation as to whether or not Williams will be executed, or have his sentence commuted.

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