The U.S. Supreme Court turned down two petitions that sought to spare the life of a Missouri inmate Tuesday night, hours before his scheduled execution.
Paul Goodwin, 48, faces lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing 63-year-old Joan Crotts inside her St. Louis County home in 1998.
An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and a clemency petition both claimed that Goodwin is mentally disabled, making him ineligible for the death penalty. Gov. Jay Nixon was still weighing clemency, but the Supreme Court declined to halt the execution, without comment.
The court also denied a second petition that questioned Missouri's use of an execution drug purchased from an undisclosed compounding pharmacy.
Goodwin's attorney, Jennifer Herndon, said his IQ has been tested at 73. His sister, Mary Mifflin, wrote in a statement that her brother remains child-like, even in prison. She said the death penalty "is not a just punishment for his crime — an act that occurred out of passion, not premeditation, by a man with the mental capabilities of a child, not an adult."