Odiase is one of two valedictorians at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee.
Last week, Missouri’s governor, Jay Nixon — a Democrat and staunch supporter of the death penalty — put the execution of Allen Nicklasson on hold.
The Department of Corrections in Missouri was planning to use the common anesthetic propofol to carry out the lethal injection.
Propofol’s European manufacturer is opposed to using its drug in carrying out capital punishment, and has prohibited its American distributors from selling the drug to departments of correction.
However, the Department of Corrections in Missouri has domestically-produced propofol in its inventory. There are questions about how the drug was obtained.