At 6pm, Missouri time, 42-year old Andre Cole will be executed for the 2001 murder of his ex-wife's boyfriend. Despite this being a sound conviction, backed by DNA evidence and Cole's own statement, the Governor of Missouri is under intense pressure to stay the execution. This is because Cole, an African-American man, was convicted and sentenced to death by an all white jury. Despite the evidence, there is genuine racial unrest surrounding Cole's impending execution, on the basis that St Louis prosecutors removed three members of the jury, all black, before the trial began.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact the case was prosecuted in St Louis county, the jurisdiction that covers Ferguson where a series of clashes occurred last August over the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A collective of African American organizations, civil rights activists and religious bodies have flooded the Governor's office with requests he launch an official enquiry into 'rampant racial bias' within St Louis County. They believe this racial bias has sent an unusually high amount of Black Americans to death row.
Missouri's Governor appears to be standing his ground, and as of publication time Andre Cole is still set to be executed. However, there are many individuals who believe that if Cole is executed today, it will create huge problems that reach much further than Ferguson.
|Andre Cole murdered his Ex-Wife's Boyfriend in 2001|