Death penalty opponents will march on Park Central Square this week as Missouri prepares to execute another death row inmate.
The Springfield Chapter of the Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty will sponsor a peaceful execution vigil and ecumenical remembrance for victims of violent crime on Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m.
The event is planned the day before the scheduled execution of John Middleton, who was sentenced to death for the 1995 murder of Alfred Pinegar in Harrison County.
Middleton has asked Gov. Jay Nixon to appoint an independent panel to review his clemency request. The petition for an independent Board of Inquiry says the governor cannot impartially rule on Middleton's request to commute his death sentence since Nixon was the state's attorney general when Middleton stood trial.
That alternative is allowed under Missouri law but has been rarely invoked, most recently in 1997 by former Gov. Mel Carnahan. He convened a similar panel three years earlier, but Nixon has rejected similar requests as governor.
If Middleton is executed, it would be the eighth man put to death in Missouri since November 2013. There are currently 39 prison inmates on death row in Missouri. Death row inmate Michael Worthington is scheduled for execution on August 6.