A record donation of produce to more than 80 food pantries and other sites around the state is coming from an unlikely source: the Missouri Department of Corrections.
For the third year in a row, prisoners in the Department's Restorative Justice Garden Program have harvested and donated a record haul of fresh fruits and vegetables to pantries, churches, nursing homes and school districts throughout Missouri. This year, the offender-grown produce weighed in at 178 tons, topping last year's donation of 163 tons.
A motion for judgment has been filed in a lawsuit accusing the state of violating Sunshine Laws for refusing to provide information related to Missouri executions.
The filing seeks to expedite a lawsuit filed earlier this year by stating there is no dispute in the core facts of the case, which calls on the court to order the Department of Corrections to release details about the drugs used in lethal injections. It also seeks to identify the pharmacies and laboratories that create and test the drugs.
Despite possible or pending investigations into how the state carried out executions by the state auditor, the legislature, two state Boards of Pharmacy, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. attorney’s office, the state of Missouri has shown no signs of holding off on next week's execution.
Lawyers representing inmate Herbert Smulls are hoping the courts will stay his execution for 60 days, so that some of these investigations can play out. Smulls is scheduled to be put to death on Jan. 29 for the 1991 shooting of Stephen and Florence Honickman.
In an investigation spanning the past few months, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon has discovered the state of Missouri may be ignoring its own laws in carrying out the death penalty by buying execution drugs from a pharmacy not licensed to do business in Missouri.
A month ago, St. Louis Public Radio reported on the questionable manner in which the state of Missouri got ahold of its potential execution drug. Now Missouri has a new plan to go ahead with two upcoming executions, but the process is anything but open.
On Tuesday, the department announced that it had chosen a new execution drug: pentobarbital. But the state also made a change that will end up making it harder, if not impossible, to know where the drugs come from.