MADP’s 2017 annual report is posted. Read the full report here.
Nationally, executions and death sentences remained near historically low levels in 2017, the second fewest since 1991. In 2017, Missouri had one execution and one new death sentence.
The only new death sentence in 2017 was for Marvin Rice this October. It was the first new death sentence in Missouri in four years and was imposed by a judge, contradicting 11 of the 12 jurors in the case who wanted life for Rice. Rice’s case highlights how Missouri judges can undermine the role of a jury in the state’s death sentencing statute.
Missouri executed one person in 2017: Mark Christeson. Christeson still had outstanding federal appeals, and he died without ever having his case reviewed in a federal court.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens stayed the scheduled execution of Marcellus Williams, set for August 22, to convene a Board of Inquiry.
Missouri has scheduled one execution for 2018: Russell Bucklew on March 18. Bucklew suffers from a rare medical condition that could make his execution prolonged and painful, and the U. S. Supreme Court previously issued a stay for Bucklew in 2014.
Regional patterns of executions in Missouri show similarity to historic patterns of lynching. These form a “death belt” across the state in which executions and lynchings occur in concentrations in clusters of counties.