The execution of Michael Tisius is scheduled for Tuesday in Missouri while several jurors who convicted him have had a change of heart on his sentence. Photo courtesy of Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty
June 4 (UPI) -- The execution of Michael Tisius is scheduled for Tuesday in Missouri while several jurors who convicted him have had a change of heart on his sentence.
Tisius, 42, was convicted of killing two Randolph County jail guards in 2000 while attempting to break out inmate Roy Vance. He was sentenced in 2010.
He was previously granted a stay by a federal district court as it looked into a juror who it argued should not have been eligible to rule on the case. The juror was allegedly incapable of reading and writing in English, making them ineligible of meeting the state's minimum requirements to serve.
The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a stay of execution on Friday, deciding the lower court did not have the jurisdiction to consider the stay, according to court documents.
The appeals court said Tisius could file another petition, but it would have to rely on new claims not presented in previous petitions.
Jurors on his original case filed a 56-page petition to Gov. Mike Parson with a petition for clemency, arguing that Tisius should remain in prison for life but should not be executed, according to The New York Times.
In the petition, the jurors reasoned that Tisius' upbringing, which was reportedly filled with abuse and neglect, as well as his age at the time of his crimes and a history of good behavior in prison, warrant his sentence being commuted.
Tisius was 19 when he and Tracie Bulington -- Vance's girlfriend -- attempted to break Vance out of jail. Vance, who was 27 when the crime occurred, has since admitted to manipulating Tisius.
Vance said he knew he could "manipulate him into what I wanted him to do," according to the Kansas City Star.
In a letter to Parson, the American Bar Association said that capital punishment should not be sentenced for defendants who were 21 years old or younger at the time that they committed their crimes.
"In particular, the ABA opposes the death penalty for certain categories of individuals who have unique vulnerabilities that make them less culpable than the average offender," the ABA wrote.
"Michael committed two murders when he was an immature 19-year-old whose underlying brain defects and dysfunction caused him to behave like a much younger individual."
In Tisius' application for clemency, he included a letter from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who wrote on behalf of Pope Francis about Tisius being a "model inmate."
Tisius would be the third person executed in Missouri this year.
On Jan. 3, the state executed Amber McLaughlin, the first openly transgender to be executed in the United States. A month later, Leonard Taylor was executed for the murder of his girlfriend and three children in 2004.