Clemons Granted Clemency
Reginald Clemons was given a reprieve Friday afternoon. Clemons, who was scheduled to be executed on June 17, was granted a stay by a federal appeals court. Clemons’ lawyers filed the motion to stay the execution because they argued that Clemons would have been executed before a federal court in the western district of Missouri would have a chance to rule on Clemons’ constitutional challenges to Missouri’s system of execution. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the decision Friday, June 5th. The decision was unsigned and only one page long and it didn’t state the reason for the court’s decision.
The Missouri Attorney General’s office opposed the motion to stay, arguing that all of the constitutional issues raised by Clemons have already been addressed or could have been brought up before now. Clemons, who is now 37, was convicted by a jury in 1993 on two counts of first degree murder for the deaths of two sisters, Julie Kerry, 20, and Robin Kerry, 18. 3 other men were also convicted of playing a part in the crime. The sisters, students at University of Missouri at St. Louis, were stripped, beaten, raped and pushed off of a bridge into the Mississippi River. The sisters’ cousin, Tom Cummins, was forced to watch the assault on Julie and Robin and was ordered to jump off of the bridge as well. Cummins managed to survive the fall. Clemons maintains that he took no part in the actual murder of the Kerry sisters.
For more information, see the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story: