Saint Louis lawmaker proposes to suspend Missouri death penalty
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Saint Louis lawmaker proposes to suspend Missouri death penalty

Date: February 18, 2009
By: Jennifer Meckles
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 321

Intro: Lawmakers are discussing a bill that would suspend the death penalty for three years and create a group to study it.

Jennifer Meckles has more from the State Capitol.

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Legislators say a ten-person commission would use the hiatus to study Missouri's death penalty and discuss possible alternatives.

At a Senate Progress and Development Committee hearing on Wednesday Sam Milsap, a former Texas prosecutor talked about his experience with the death penalty.

Millsap said he convicted a man for murder, but discovered the man was innocent after he was sent to death.

 

Actuality:  MILSAP2.WAV
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Description: My decision to prosecute that case based on the testimony of a single eye-witness without physical evidence, without a gun, without a confession -- without anything other than the eye-witness testimony of one person was a serious mistake in judgement.
 

Supporters say the bill will reduce the number of wrongly convicted criminals and innocent deaths.
 
Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Jennifer Meckles.
Intro: One St. Louis Senator is sponsoring a bill that would halt the death penalty in Missouri until major changes are made.

Jennifer Meckles has more from Jefferson City.

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The Senate Progress and Development Committee heard a bill that would create a ten-person commission to study and review the death penalty and discuss alternatives.

Bill Sponsor, St.Louis County Democratic Senator Rita Days said the death penalty law needs revisions to save the lives of those who are wrongly convicted.

 

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Description: Until this time we have had no definitive evidence of what the ramifications are, even to the society as a whole, to the families, or even as some indicate as a deterrant to future crime.

The bill would prohibit the death penalty in Missouri from August 2009 until January 2013.

No one offered any opposing statements at the hearing.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Jennifer Meckles


Intro: A new bill would temporarily stop the death penalty until necessary changes are made.

Jennifer Meckles has more from Jefferson City. 

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The bill would create a group to review Missouri's death penalty laws and discuss possible alternatives.

Witness Darryl Burton spoke at a Senate Progress and Development Committee hearing on Wednesday.

Burton spent twenty-four years behind bars waiting for the death penalty before a re-trial proved him innocent.

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Description: The perpetrator -- the real perpetrator -- got away. You didn't get the right person when you lock one of us up. You don't get the right person when you execute an innocent person. You've made a double trajedy.
 
Lawmakers say this bill is neutral -- it neither supports nor opposes the death penalty.
 
Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Jennifer Meckles.