Death Penalty | St. Louis Public Radio

Death Penalty

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

In an update to a story we told you about earlier today, a judge has refused the request of Christopher Coleman's defense to delay Coleman's trial.

Coleman, accused of strangling his wife and their two sons in 2009, is scheduled to go to trial next month.

Nixon still supports death penalty

Jan 13, 2011
St. Louis Public Radio

Speaking in St. Louis on Thursday Missouri Governor Jay Nixon would not elaborate on the reasons why he commuted the death sentence of convicted murderer Richard Clay.

Clay was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder-for-hire of Randy Martindale.

The Illinois General Assembly has passed several major bills in the last few days of its lame-duck session.

Two of the bills, one on an income tax increase and the other on abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, were the focus of a press conference held today by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Here are some highlights of Quinn's comments:

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

UPDATE 3:03 p.m. Jan. 11, 2011:

The Associated Press is reporting that the Illinois Senate has voted to abolish the death penalty in that state.

The Chicago Tribune also reports the following:

The ban on executions goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who must sign the legislation for it to become law. During last fall's campaign, Quinn said he supports "capital punishment when applied carefully and fairly," but also backs the 10-year-old moratorium on executions.

The Senate voted 32-25 to approve the ban, with two members voting present.

 

UPDATE 1:13 p.m. Jan. 11, 2011:

The Illinois Senate is debating the death penalty bill this afternoon on the floor. You can listen or watch the debate live here.

Earlier Story:

Illinois has moved one step closer to a vote on abolishing the death penalty in the state.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee voted this morning to advance a bill to repeal the death penalty, setting up a probable full Senate vote later today.

The bill passed in the House last week in a quick re-vote when the first vote failed the bill, 59-58.

The Chicago Tribune also has more information on the history of the death penalty in the state, via legislation and key cases in their story today.

 

The Illinois Capitol in Springfield
Flickr | jglazer75

UPDATE Jan. 6, 2011 6:47 p.m. :   Via the Associated Press, The Illinois House, reversing an earlier tally, has voted 60-54 to repeal the death penalty. The bill now goes to the Illinois Senate.

A decades-long effort to abolish the death penalty in Illinois has fallen one vote shy of House approval.

House members voted 59-58 Thursday on abolition. The bill needed 60 votes for approval.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In a properly functioning democratic system, the legislature should make the key policy decisions, and executive officials should implement those decisions. There is no more important policy decision than determining what types of crimes merit capital punishment. In Missouri, the legislature has effectively delegated that decision to county prosecutors.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Supreme Court’s recent ruling rejecting the argument that lethal injection is inhumane allowed some states to resume executions, but it only addresses a small sliver of the controversy. Justice Stevens went on record stating that the practice of capital punishment might very well be unconstitutional.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Two death penalty cases in the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday could affect Missouri. In one, a splintered court ruled that Kentucky could resume lethal injections, a decision that could restart executions in Missouri and most other states. In the other case, the court heard arguments that capital punishment should be permitted for child rape, a position that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has urged on the court.

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