Stop the Execution of Walter “Arkie” Barton in Missouri

Governor Mike Parson

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UPDATE: 8:40pm EDT on May 18, 2020: This case is before the US Supreme Court. Unless a stay is granted the execution will likely take place at 6pm CDT on Tuesday, May 19. There will be a virtual vigil broadcast live on the Facebook Page of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

*** Over 1000 signatures were hand delivered to Governor Parson's office on May 13th. Petitions received by 12pm CDT on May 19th will be delivered electronically that day. We will continue gathering signatures until the case is resolved one way or another ***

Walter “Arkie” Barton is scheduled for execution in Missouri on May 19th for the 1991 murder of 81-year-old Gladys Kuehler. Read this new in-depth article from The Intercept.

Walter and his attorneys have been appealing his conviction and asking for clemency due to various claims, including that of innocence. Three of the four witnesses that were brought forward to issue statements against Walter at his trial have recanted their statements, thus calling into question his actual guilt. One of the witnesses who did not recant was incarcerated at the time and entered into a quid pro quo to have charges dismissed in return for their testimony against Walter.

Additionally, Walter Barton has been under psychiatric care since 2015. His attorney argues that he has never been competent due to a brain injury and his case meets the standards for not competent to execute. Walter is currently in solitary confinement and is confined to a wheelchair.

In a statement from Walter’s attorney, he says “the state of Missouri is about to prove why the death penalty should not be used because they are about to execute an innocent man.”

And during an appeal in 2006, while the Missouri Supreme Court ruled 4 to 3 to uphold his death sentence, Justice Wolff wrote, “Even if the evidence were strong enough to support a conviction, it may not have been enough to warrant the death penalty.”

Please sign the petition asking Governor Parson to do everything within his power to stop this execution, including issuing a stay, and seeking a path to clemency in the case.

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To: Governor Mike Parson
From: [Your Name]

We are writing to ask that you to stop the May 19th execution of Walter “Arkie” Barton for the 1991 murder of 81-year-old Gladys Kuehler.

We are concerned that while the vast majority of states with capital punishment continue on a downward trend of executions, Missouri continues to go against the trend by carrying out executions still.

Specific to the case of Walter Barton, he and his attorneys have been asking for clemency due to various claims, including that of serious doubts about his guilt. Three of the four witnesses that were brought forward to issue statements against Walter at his trial have recanted their statements, thus calling into question his actual guilt. One of the witnesses who did not recant was incarcerated at the time and entered into a quid pro quo to have charges dismissed in return for their testimony against Walter.

Additionally, Walter Barton has been under psychiatric care since 2015. His attorney argues that he has never been competent due to a brain injury and his case meets the standards for not competent to execute. Walter is currently in solitary confinement and is confined to a wheelchair.

We, the undersigned, ask that you do everything within your power to stop this execution, including issuing a stay, and seeking a path to clemency in the case.