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MADP Launches Advocacy Petition For #DavidHosier

Updated: May 7

In February, the Missouri Supreme Court set an execution date of June 11th, 2024, for David Hosier. David was sentenced to death for the 2009 murder of Angela Gilpin in Jefferson City. As Missouri prepares to move forward with its second execution in 2024, MADP will continue to work to support all those impacted by the death penalty system.

The death penalty perpetuates a cycle of violence and does not serve as an effective deterrent to crime. Clemency for David Hosier would demonstrate compassion and a commitment to justice that goes beyond retribution.

Background: David’s father was an Indiana State Police Officer who was shot in the line of duty when David was 16 years old. David idolized his father and his sudden death tore apart his life. David’s mother was devastated by the death of her husband and was unable to grieve and maintain her parental role for David. As a consequence, David’s life was further upended when he was sent to Military School for the remainder of his high school years. David served the country in the US Navy for four years.

David and his family never received the support they needed after the death of his father. David’s father was murdered in the line of duty in 1971, long before support systems were in place for family members of fallen officers. If support services were available, David and his family members may not have fallen through the cracks during this traumatic time. 

David’s case highlights many of the flaws inherent in the death penalty system:

1. Despite the lack of direct evidence linking him to the crime, David was convicted based on circumstantial evidence. The State’s case relied heavily on an alleged motive. In fact, during the initial trial, David was offered a plea for Life without Parole indicating the State thought Life was an appropriate punishment for the crime at the time. David has maintained his innocence and did not confess.

2. The introduction of unreliable forensic evidence at David’s trial resulted in a fundamentally unfair trial. In the absence of an eyewitness or any physical evidence connecting Hosier to the crime, the state's conviction relied heavily on ballistics evidence. New evidence in forensic science casts doubts on the reliability of tool mark identification and courts are starting to question it because of testimony from scientific experts.

3. The death penalty is mostly imposed on poor people who cannot afford to hire an effective lawyer. the quality of a defendant's legal team often decides whether they receive a death sentence. Throughout his appeals, David’s attorneys raised several issues of ineffective counsel, including the fact that no medical doctors or psychiatrists were brought forward to support mitigation about David’s severe depression with psychotic features which was exacerbated by a stroke in 2007. This lack of adequate counsel is a key issue in the system. 

We call for a reassessment of the death penalty system in Missouri. The death penalty is not a deterrent to crime and perpetuates a cycle of violence.

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