Senate Committee Hears Bill to End the Death Penalty

The Senate General Laws and Pensions Committee heard a bill on Tuesday, Jan. 19 that would end the death penalty in Missouri.

Sponsored by Sen. Paul Wieland (R-Imperial) SB 816 would make life without parole the only sentencing option for first degree murder. Inmates currently living under a death sentence would have their sentences changed to life without parole.

In introducing his bill to the committee, Sen. Wieland said that he was motivated to sponsor the bill because of his pro-life beliefs. “For me to be consistent with my pro-life beliefs, I need to not only protect the innocent unborn, but also those guilty of serious crime,” Wieland noted.

Several witnesses testified, including MCC’s General Counsel Tyler McClay.

“Catholic teaching opposes the use of the death penalty,” McClay noted. “This ultimate punishment promotes violence as a solution to society’s problems.”

McClay went on to discuss some of the concerns found in the 18 cases of individuals who have been executed in Missouri over the last few years. These concerns include arbitrariness of the death penalty, racial disparity in cases and lack of adequate representation at trial.

The hearing will continue on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Read MCC’s press release here.

One thought on “Senate Committee Hears Bill to End the Death Penalty

  1. J. R. Stojeba Missionaries of Life says:

    Thank you for shining light on the inappropriate means to handle the most violent criminals against innocent victims via the Death Penalty in Mo. Much of the public for the Death Penalty automatically site it is more inexpensive for the state to snuff out the life of a convicted criminal, but it is not. It is often twice to three times more expensive to pay for murderers to be on Death Row. All cases do not hold DNA evidence and absolutely undisputed guilt, and no man/woman should be put under for a terribly rash, perhaps drunken/drugged induced crime once in a bad stage of life/evil exposure. Personally, I believe prisoners should be imprisoned without ANY possibility of patrol & even sequestered when needed, to prevent harm to nonviolent prisoners. Many prisoners, I am told, are mentally ill, with duel diagnoses, the most difficult to treat of all, and brought up with no positive male role model their entire life and addicted/mentally ill/negligent Mothers, when adoption into a loving, caring spiritually based family may have been a better choice for their future before a hostile, abusive, negligent environment imbedded anger issues too deep to overcome. Please contact the legislators involved and ask for them to “do pass” SB816 in respect of all human life.

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