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25 Years of Killing is Enough

In light of the severe weather around the state we have postponed this press conference. We anticipate it will be re-scheduled for Monday the 13th but will update when that is confirmed.

Press Conference on Monday Jan. 6: Reflecting on 25 Years of Executions in Missouri

On January 6th, 1989, the state of Missouri, after a 25 year hiatus, began anew the practice of killing its citizens when it executed George Mercer. This was the first execution in Missouri after it re-instated the death penalty in 1977 and the first execution by lethal injection in the state. Since 1989, Missouri has executed 70 individuals, ranking the state the 5th highest in the nation in carrying out capital punishment.

Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (MADP) will mark this somber 25th anniversary by calling for an end to state killing at a news conference on Monday, January 6, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. in Senate Committee Hearing Room 1 at the State Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

Nationwide executions have dropped 10%, from 43 in 2012 to 39 in 2013. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, this is only the second time in the past 19 years that the number was below 40. Missouri, which executed only two individuals from 2006-2012, carried out two executions in 2013 and has one set for January 2014.

“Twenty-five years of executions is enough,” said Rita Linhardt, Chair of the Board for MADP. “Some states are realizing that the death penalty is a failed policy and are turning away from executions. Missouri, unfortunately, is going in the opposite direction.”

The January 6th press conference will feature speakers with first-hand knowledge of the death penalty system. Speakers include:

Elizabeth Unger Carlyle—attorney for several individuals executed in Missouri

Reggie Griffin—former Missouri death row inmate, wrongly convicted and exonerated in 2013

Val Brown—murder victim family member, will share her family’s experience with the court system.

Charlie Rogers—co-counsel for Herbert Smulls, scheduled to be executed on January 29.

“These individuals have been impacted by the death penalty in a very personal way,” states Linhardt. “Their stories will show that the death penalty does little to promote healing or make our communities safer.”

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