Amendment 5, a proposed Missouri constitutional amendment on the Aug. 5 ballot, seeks to protect further the right to bear arms.
"It's going to strengthen the protection that the right to keep and bear arms under the Missouri constitution," said Allen Rostron, a constitutional law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. "Everybody is familiar with the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, of course, but there's also a provision in the Missouri state Constitution that guarantees a right to keep and bear arms, and this is designed to strengthen that right."
Lobbyists spend nearly $1 million each year on gifts for Missouri lawmakers. The types of gifts vary greatly -- from expensive meals and drinks to tickets for sporting events to small things like stamps and books.
Each month, lobbyists have to disclose those gifts. And, in partnership with NPR, St. Louis Public Radio has a website (LobbyingMissouri.org) that keeps track of it all.
A federal judge has stayed Missouri's upcoming execution over concerns that the Department of Corrections obstructed the clemency process.
Inmate John Winfield was scheduled to be put to death on June 18 for killing two people in St. Louis County. Before an execution can occur in Missouri, the governor must first make a decision on clemency -- whether or not the inmate's life should be spared.
In a court hearing Wednesday, the Missouri attorney general's office defended the secrecy that just last week Attorney General Chris Koster expressed concerns over.
Inmate John Winfield is scheduled to be executed on June 18 for murdering two people in St. Louis County in 1996. His lawyer, Joe Luby, argued in the Cole County 19th Judicial Circuit Court that the Missouri Department of Corrections is violating the sunshine law by keeping secret the identity of the supplier of the execution drug.
Oklahoma, a state with numerous ties to the controversy over Missouri's lethal injection procedures, on Tuesday night botched what the state had hoped would be the first of two successful executions.
According to reports of witnesses, Clayton Lockett writhed in pain on the gurney after he awoke following a doctor's declaration that he was unconscious. He died of an apparent heart attack at 7:06 p.m., more than 40 minutes after the first drug was injected at 6:23 p.m.
Robert Patton, director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, said Lockett's vein had collapsed.
Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:06 pm
Wednesday's execution of Michael Taylor marked the state's fourth in as many months - a dramatic uptick from recent years.
The state put Taylor to death for abducting, raping and killing a 15-year-old girl in 1989.Gov. Jay Nixon called the crime "wanton" and "heinous" in a statement denying clemency and said the death penalty was the appropriate punishment.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:05 pm
Federal judges have ruled that Wednesday's execution may proceed.
District Judge Beth Phillips denied Missouri inmate Michael Taylor's requests for stays of execution early Monday morning. Her ruling was appealed to a panel of 8th Circuit judges, who affirmed her decision.
Taylor asked for his execution to be delayed for three reasons.
1. Missouri changed its drug supplier at the last minute.
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 10:02 am
Although the state's previous drug supplier says it will not supply for the next execution, Missouri says it's found another willing pharmacy.
On Monday, the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma reached a settlement with an inmate who had sued the pharmacy. Although the terms were confidential, the pharmacy agreed to not sell to Missouri for its upcoming execution.
In a court filing Wednesday evening, the state said inmate Michael Taylor was trying to cut off the supply of the state's execution drug.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 4:39 pm
Of the roughly 350 men and women who preserved and protected art during World War II, 14 of them had ties to Missouri. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., toured the St. Louis Art Museum Wednesday to take a look at some of the pieces the so-called "monuments men" fought for.
The Republican has sponsored a bill to award the "monuments men" with the Congressional Gold Medal.
They're credited with protecting millions of cultural artifacts from the Nazis, and Blunt took a look at a couple of them during his tour.
Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:54 pm
After a lawsuit filed by a death-row inmate, the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma has agreed to not sell to Missouri for its upcoming execution.
Last week, a federal judge ordered the pharmacy to hold off on selling the drug to Missouri until further review. Before that could take place, however, the pharmacy and the inmate came to an agreement.
Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 4:51 pm
An Oklahoma compounding pharmacy has supplied Missouri with the drug it's used three times to execute inmates, despite the fact that the pharmacy isn't licensed here.
Now the Apothecary Shoppe is attempting to become licensed in Missouri.
According to records obtained by St. Louis Public Radio, the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy received a letter from the Apothecary Shoppe on Jan. 13, when the pharmacy said it was planning on registering in both Missouri and Texas.
For the death penalty to be carried out in Missouri, it requires three agencies in particular to work in sync. The Department of Corrections performs the executions. The governor appoints the head of the Department of Corrections and can offer clemency to death row inmates. The attorney general defends the state when the execution method is challenged.
Each agency has found itself in the spotlight recently as Missouri's execution procedure has come under scrutiny.
Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 1:11 pm
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.
Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 8:44 pm
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is continuing to voice his support for Boeing to choose St. Louis as its location to produce its new commercial aircraft, the 777X.
Boeing is shopping for a new location after a disagreement with the Machinists union in Washington. The company and has since met with governors in numerous states. Nixon met with Boeing last week, and said he will work quickly with the state’s legislative leaders to craft a proposal to lure the aerospace company.
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.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm
Updated at 11:05 a.m. 11/7/2013
Missouri Rep. Steve Webb, a Democrat from North St. Louis County, was charged Wednesday with numerous counts of campaign finance violations. Webb is facing considerable pressure from his party to step down, but has not decided if he will resign.
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.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:30 pm
On Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Corrections announced that it had selected a new drug for upcoming executions: pentobarbital.
The change comes following criticism of the questionable methods Missouri had obtained the drug it had previously planned to use, as well as concern that its use could harm hospitals throughout the U.S. The state had planned to use a common anesthetic named propofol, which has never been used to carry out an execution.
On Friday, Governor Jay Nixon postponed the execution of an inmate that was set for later this month. That execution was going to be carried out using propofol, a common anesthetic that has never been used in a lethal injection before. So why the change in plans?