death penalty

Chain of Rocks Bridge murders
4:55 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Hearing continues in Clemons' death penalty case

The Chain of Rocks Bridge in north St. Louis (photo by Creative Commons user ChrisYunker)

Missouri death row inmate Reginald Clemons says detective interrogators beat him so badly he admitted to raping two sisters who were pushed to their deaths from the old Chain of Rocks Bridge.


Clemons testified today at a special hearing that he confessed because he feared for his life. He is on death row for the 1991 rape and murder of 20-year-old Julie Kerry and 19-year-old Robin Kerry.


After the hearing, the Missouri Supreme Court will decide whether to commute Clemons' death sentence and possibly require a new trial.

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Death penalty
2:13 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court will wait to set execution dates for six inmates

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

Updated 6:03 p.m. with reaction 

The Missouri Supreme Court will not set execution dates for six death row inmates until a court case over the state's new execution protocol is resolved.

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Capital Punishment
5:55 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Missouri's new execution drug: no silver bullet

(Propofol: Wikimedia commons, Gurney: via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis, Needle: Flickr via prashant_zi)

Missouri is the first state in the nation to change its protocol for executing prisoners from a three-drug cocktail to the single drug Propofol. The switch is due to a shortage of a key drug, which has stalled lethal injections across the country.

Other states may eventually follow Missouri’s lead, but as St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy reports, the drug known recently for killing pop star Michael Jackson is no silver bullet either.

"I just thought it was a good idea"

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Morning round-up
9:24 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Morning headlines: March 22, 2012

Gregg Williams, newly named defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. Formerly with the New Orleans Saints, Williams has been suspended indefinitely from the NFL due to his involvement in a "bounty system" with that team.
(New Orleans Saints Press Kit)

Gregg Williams apologizes

Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is apologizing to the NFL, to St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher, the Rams organization and football fans in general for running a bounty pool while he was in New Orleans.

Williams was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday by the NFL, and the Rams say he'll be eligible for reinstatement after the season.

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death penalty
9:44 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Death penalty abolition bill before Mo. House committee

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

A House committee heard testimony Wednesday evening on legislation that would abolish the death penalty in Missouri.  The bill would also commute sentences of all current Death Row inmates to life without parole.

Several people testified in favor of the bill, including Kevin Green, a California man who spent 16 years in prison on charges that he raped his wife and killed their unborn baby.  He was eventually exonerated after DNA evidence showed another man had committed the crime.  Green says doing hard time in prison is a harsher punishment than being executed.

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Morning round-up
9:33 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Morning headlines: Friday, March 9, 2012

(via Flickr/neil_conway)

Mo. House approves test program that helps children visit moms in prison

Missouri House members are calling for a pilot project to help women in the state's prisons have more contact with their children.

Legislation approved by the House would require the Corrections and Social Services departments to start a two-year test program to provide transportation for children and a caretaker to visit their mothers in prison.

The measure was approved Thursday on a vote of 126-23 and now moves to the Senate.

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Death Penalty study
5:35 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

ABA study says death penalty too broadly pursued in Mo.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

It may be easier to be sentenced to death in Missouri than in other states, according to a study released today and sponsored by the American Bar Association.

It finds that aggravating circumstances used by prosecutors are so broadly defined that virtually any homicide case in Missouri can qualify for the death penalty.  University of Missouri -- Columbia Law Professor Paul Litton is on the panel that conducted the study.  He says the state’s wide latitude on capital punishment goes against the recommendations of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Morning round-up
9:23 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Morning headlines: Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, home of the St. Louis Rams.
(via Wikimedia Commons)

CVC: Rams do not accept dome proposal

According to a statement from the the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission released this morning, the St. Louis Rams have turned down the CVC's $124 million plan to overhaul the Edwards Jones Dome.

The CVC's plan included adding 1,500 new club seats, installing a massive 96 foot-long scoreboard over the center of the field and adding windows for more natural light.

The CVC says the team "will submit their own proposal to improve the Edward Jones Dome on or before May 1, 2012."

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Morning round-up
9:24 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Morning headlines: February 15, 2012

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster
Missouri Attorney General's office

Koster wants U.S. Supreme Court to reject individual health insurance mandate

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an individual health insurance mandate but uphold other parts of the federal health care law. Koster, a Democrat, said Tuesday his office filed a written argument in support of a lawsuit by Florida and other states.

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MO Statehouse
4:20 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Bill to abolish death penalty filed in Mo. House

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

Legislation has been filed in the Missouri House that would abolish the death penalty.

If the bill becomes law, any pending executions in Missouri would be halted, and all inmates sentenced to death would be re-sentenced to life without probation or parole.  It’s sponsored by State Representative Penny Hubbard (D, St. Louis).  She says she doesn’t believe that capital punishment is an effective deterrent.

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