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Stay the Execution of Michael Tisius: New Filings Suggests Errors in Court and Clemency Process

The fight to save Michael Tisius ramps up as his execution date looms closer. His attorneys

recently filed for a Stay of Execution in both the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) and the Missouri Supreme Court, citing new evidence suggesting that both the court and clemency process have been rife with errors.

On April 28th, SCOTUS accepted a petition for writ certiorari alleging that Missouri obstructed the clemency process by refusing to transport Michael Tisius to a nearby hospital in St. Louis for medical testing related to his organic brain damage and seizures. The examination sought includes brain imaging and testing for his seizure activity that has not previously been conducted on Mr. Tisius's brain. The petition argues that the state of Missouri's refusal to transport Tisius for the testing deemed necessary by the District Court obstructs his ability to obtain clemency and is unconstitutional.

In addition, new evidence was filed in a petition for habeas relief to the Missouri Supreme Court last week. This evidence alleges that Michael's second sentencing verdict was improper because one of the jurors was illiterate. Not only could this juror not read the jury instructions, but a large amount of the mitigation evidence in the second trial was presented via transcripts. Missouri law provides that illiterate people can't serve on juries. At the time, the juror didn't respond when the trial judge asked if anyone on the panel was illiterate. The juror says in his affidavit that he told the county official in charge of the panel that he couldn't read and was taken to a private room where his juror form was read to him and filled out for him. The lawyers who have represented Michael all say they were not aware of this.

These two filings come with less than 30 days to fight for Michael's life. The case of Michael Tisius and the evidence presented in the petitions further document the lengths the state of Missouri will go to take to ensure they are able to execute those deemed unworthy of existence. The filings also highlight potential errors in the court and clemency processes, which could have grave consequences for those facing the death penalty.

As the legal battle continues, MADP remains hopeful that the courts will consider the evidence and grant a Stay of Execution, allowing Michael to continue to fight for his life.

You can help amplify Michael’s case by continuing to uplift the advocacy petition to Gov. Parson at

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