A 58-year-old man, Leonard Raheem Taylor, has been executed by the state of Missouri on February 7 for the murder of his girlfriend and her children, despite persistent questions about his guilt.
According to the Independent, activists, the Midwest Innocence Project, and the NAACP were adamant about having a further investigation before the state administered the lethal injection of pentobarbital because of evidence that indicated Taylor was in a completely different state when the crime occurred.
The doomed man’s final statement before his execution was, “Muslims don’t die. [We] live eternally in the hearts of our family and friends. Death is not your enemy; it is your destiny. Look forward to meeting it. Peace!”
Taylor was executed for the 2004 homicides of his girlfriend, Angela Rowe, her two young daughters and one son. A national outcry surged when speculation arose around his involvement. The bodies of Rowe and her children were found with gunshot wounds on December 4, but Taylor had boarded a flight to California from St. Louis the month before on the 24th. The initial examination of the bodies suggested that the crime took place a few days before the discovery of the body, which would clear Taylor of involvement. However, during the trial, a second medical examiner came out to say that the murder could’ve occurred weeks before the discovery of the body.
His attorney presented evidence that relatives and family members saw Rowe and her children alive after Taylor flew to California. The 58-year-old’s daughter corroborated that he even called Rowe and one of her children from California.
Each instance of reevaluation of Taylor’s innocence was revoked. He was denied clemency and a stay request, and the supreme court also declined to intervene on his behalf. St. Louis County Prosecutor said that the “facts are not there to support a credible case of innocence.”