Legislators take Action Regarding Concerns about Recent Executions

Several state lawmakers are calling for action regarding how the Missouri Department of Corrections is carrying out executions.

The House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability will hold a hearing next week on the state’s execution protocol.  The first area the committee will focus on is the standard that the Department uses for determining if the condemned has had all of their constitutional appeals determined by the appropriate courts.

This inquiry is the result of a recent scathing opinion by Judge Kermit Bye of the Western District Court stating that Allen Nicklasson was executed before the court had completed its review of the constitutionality of Missouri’s execution protocol.

The committee will also seek information on the Department’s process for determining the new drug used in executions and if the drug was obtained by an unlicensed pharmacy.

It is unclear at this time what timeline the committee is working under or what recommendations the committee might make regarding execution practices.

Representitive John Rizzo (D-Kansas City) has a more definite plan of action.  He filed HB 1409 this week, which would create a commission on Lethal Injection Administration and would place a moratorium on the death penalty until certain procedures and protocol are adopted.


Posted: January 17, 2014

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