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Man scheduled to die for killing cousins in Callaway County seeks halt to execution

Brian Dorsey
Missouri Department of Corrections
Brian Dorsey


A man scheduled to die in April for the killing of his cousins in New Bloomfield is seeking a stay, arguing that Missouri's lethal injection method would violate his religious beliefs and be unnecessarily painful.

Brian Dorsey is scheduled to die April 9 for the 2006 murders of his cousin Sarah Bonnie and her husband, Ben Bonnie. Dozens of prison workers have written to the governor seeking clemency, but the Bonnie family said in a statement that Dorsey deserves to die.

In a filing in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Missouri, federal public defender Arin Melissa Brenner argues that the pain caused by the injection process would render Dorsey unable to concentrate on seeking repentance, violating his religious beliefs and the First Amendment.

Dorsey's lawyer also asks that her client be given drugs to ease the process of death from a pentobarbital injection, which has been shown to cause instant filling of the lungs with fluid, according to the filing. A feeling of suffocation would ensue, according to the filing.

Dorsey's lawyer asks that he be offered a painkilling drug such as fentanyl or morphine or a general anesthetic such as lidocaine before the lethal injection.

The motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction asks that the court put a hold on Dorsey's execution while considering his arguments.

It's not clear when the court will rule on the motion.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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