KMOX-AM of St. Louis reports, "Nixon on Capital Punishment Plan: ‘We Don’t Have A Gas Chamber’."
Less than a week after Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster suggested the state may need to reinstate the gas chamber as a form of capital punishment, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is hesitant to lend his support to the plan.
During a press conference in St. Louis Tuesday, Nixon was asked about Koster’s suggestion.
“We don’t have a gas chamber,” he said. “I don’t want to get into it. Once again, most of those issues involving it are part and parcel of what is going on in the courts about the various methods and I think it’s best handled by…we’ll just let the judicial branch deal with that.”
Missouri Director of Corrections George Lombardi also refused to weigh in Tuesday.
“I have no comment,” he said. “Period.”
"Nixon shows no support for gas chamber idea," is the AP coverage, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon isn't ready to embrace the idea of using the gas chamber to execute prisoners.
Attorney General Chris Koster last week suggested that if lethal injection issues are going to remain tied up in the courts, Missouri might consider using the gas chamber. State statutes allow for either method of execution.
KMOX Radio reports that Nixon was asked about Koster's suggestion when the governor was in St. Louis for a news conference on Tuesday. Both men are Democrats.
WFJA-FM posts, "Missouri Death Row Legal Battle Could Bring Back Gas Chamber," from ABC News Radio.
Missouri last conducted an execution by lethal gas in 1968, according to Mandi Steele, a public information officer for the Missouri Department of Corrections. The state has since closed its lethal gas chambers, after lethal injections became a more common execution method.
“Currently, there are no operational facilities that are capable of conducting an execution by lethal gas,” Steele said. “They would have to be rebuilt.”
"Execution request raises issue of death penalty’s brutality," is Mary Sanchez' column in the Kansas City Star.
In filing the motion, Koster is inadvertently pressing back to the core issue people would rather avoid: Should Missouri even have a death penalty?
Is it moral? No.
Such eye-for-an-eye justice turns all of the state’s taxpayers into murderers.
Is it fiscally savvy? No.
Death penalty cases are more expensive than prosecuting for life in prison with no parole. And drawn-out challenges make any dream of capital punishment as a deterrent laughable.
So what’s a state like Missouri that insists on killing to do? The gas chamber is still a legal option. And death penalty experts — both pro and con — have long pointed out the swiftest way to kill.
Do you cringe at the mere words?
Good. Seems a little too bloody, too violent, right?
In modern times, people prefer to soothe their consciences by thinking of “putting the convict to sleep” rather than blowing a hole through his heart with a bullet.
But it’s murder on behalf of taxpayers whatever the method.
Earlier coverage from Missouri begins at the link.