- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri is preparing for its final execution of 2014, a year in which the state has rivaled Texas with its use of the death penalty.

Paul Goodwin is scheduled to die by injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for the 1998 killing of a 63-year-old St. Louis County woman with a hammer. He would be the 10th person put to death in Missouri this year - the most since the death penalty was instituted. Already, the state has tied for the record set in 1999.

Thirty-three people have been executed in the U.S. this year, Texas topping the list with 10. Texas, Missouri and Florida have combined for 27 of them.

An appeal from Goodwin’s attorney to the U.S. Supreme Court raises concerns about Missouri not disclosing the name of compounding pharmacy from which it obtains the pentobarbital used for executions. The Missouri Attorney General’s office, in a response, notes that the court has already denied similar petitions in previous executions.

Attorney Jennifer Herndon also has filed appeals to the Missouri Supreme Court and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, along with a clemency petition to Gov. Jay Nixon, claiming Goodwin has an IQ of 73 and is mentally incapable of helping with his defense.

Herndon said Goodwin, 48, understands he is about to be executed, but lacks the mental capacity to articulate information that might help his cause.

“The big problem is he can’t help us at all,” Herndon said. “He can’t understand what we’re doing to help him, and he can’t provide any information to be helpful.”

In the mid-1990s, Goodwin lived in a St. Louis County boarding house that was next door to Joan Crotts, a widow. The two had been involved in several verbal confrontations.

Goodwin was evicted in 1996 after he and friends harassed Crotts, including throwing beer cans into her yard. Court records show that Goodwin blamed Crotts for his eviction, telling her, “I’m going to get you for this,” according to testimony from Crotts’ daughter.

On March 1, 1998, Goodwin entered Crotts home and confronted her. After a sexual assault, he pushed her down the basement stairs, and then used a hammer to strike her in the head several times.

Herndon said Goodwin is remorseful.

“He was drunk when he did it,” she said “From the beginning he’s said, ‘This is horrible.’ But he’s so impaired that he doesn’t really have the ability to show remorse like a normal adult would.”

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