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      Advocates plead for clemency for condemned man

      Anti-death penalty advocates are asking Governor Jay Nixon to grant clemency to a man scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

      Jeffrey Ferguson was sentenced to death for the 1989 rape and murder of 17-year-old Kelli Hall.

      If the execution proceeds, it will be the fifth execution in as many months in the state of Missouri.

      Jeff Stack, of the Columbia chapter of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, said it's what Ferguson has done during his incarceration that proves he can be an asset to the prison system.

      "He's done a lot of really worthwhile things to promote healing for victims of crime, helped start a hospice for terminally ill prisoners, has been part of the solution really for making the prison a safer [place] and a healing place," Stack said.

      Stack added that the effort to save Ferguson's life does not mean they have forgotten Hall's death.

      "It was a horrible crime that took her life and we are saddened for what her family has gone is Jeff Ferguson," he said.

      "He accepts responsibility in making some horrible decisions and being part of actions that led her to death. But there's nothing we can do to restore her to life."

      Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty held vigils in nine cities across Missouri on Tuesday.

      Governor Nixon's office said they would most likely not be commenting until Nixon makes a decision.