St. Louis Public Radio KWMU posts, "Missouri Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into State's Execution Method," by Chris McDaniel. It's via KBIA-FM. Here's the beginning of this must-read:
Several state lawmakers are calling for an investigation into how the Missouri Department of Corrections has carried out executions in the previous months.
The calls follow a report by St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon that found the department bought its execution drug, pentobarbital, from an Oklahoma compounding pharmacy that isn’t licensed to sell here.
Under normal circumstances, the seller could be committing a felony.
“I don’t want our state to be able to do things the average citizen could not do,” House Minority Whip John Rizzo of Kansas City said. “I think it’s a very real possibility that our state is obtaining this drug from another state without the proper protocol.”
The Democrat is filing a bill on Monday that would create a temporary commission to see if the state was guilty of any wrongdoing. It would also place a hold on executions while they investigate.
Rizzo isn’t alone. On the Senate side, Democrat Joe Keaveny of St. Louis said he would support an investigation into the Department of Corrections. But he added that he couldn’t commit to this specific bill without reading it first.
“If we are going to employ such an extreme punishment, we should be absolutely certain that our methods and procedures ensure that the rights of the convicted are adequately protected,” Keaveny said.
"Death penalty foes mark 25 years of executions in Mo.," is the AP report by Jordan Shapiro, via the Southeast Missourian.
As Missouri prepares to execute its third inmate in the past few months, a group of death penalty opponents urged state lawmakers Monday to halt executions.
Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty gathered at the state Capitol to mark 25 years since the state resumed executions. Reggie Griffin, who was recently cleared of a capital punishment case in Missouri, spoke in support of ending the death penalty.
"I wouldn't wish for anyone to go through what I had to go through," he said.
Griffin was convicted and sentenced to death in 1983 for killing fellow inmate James Bausley in a fatal stabbing at a Moberly, Mo., prison. His sentence was reduced to life without parole in 1993, but he remained in prison until the Missouri Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2011.
Missouri's first execution after a nationwide moratorium on capital punishment was lifted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 was that of George Mercer. He was executed Jan. 6, 1989, for the rape and slaying of waitress Karen Keeton in the Kansas City area.
Since then, Missouri has executed 70 inmates and nearly 50 more sit on death row.
Earlier coverage from Missouri begins at the link.