Weaver was sentenced to die for killing Charles Taylor near St. Louis. The motive: Taylor was about to testify in a drug trial involving some of Weaver's acquaintances.
George "Buzz" Westfall was the prosecutor of St. Louis County; he won the death case against Weaver and co-defendant Daryl Shurn.
Shurn's sentence was later vacated by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals because of Westfall's inflammatory rhetoric.
Monday, the Supreme Court vacated Weaver's death sentence. The Associated Press reports:
The court said in an unsigned opinion that the state’s appeal of lower federal court rulings that threw out the death sentence should not have been accepted because of procedural quirks.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented, saying they would have reinstated Weaver’s death sentence. Missouri state courts had upheld the sentence. ...
During the sentencing phase, the prosecutor repeatedly urged jurors to "look beyond William Weaver" in considering the death penalty and send a message to drug dealers.
Look beyond William Weaver. Look in your heart. State-sponsored killing solves nothing.