ACLU and anti-death penalty group ask Gov. Nixon to suspend executions

May 5, 2014

execution gurney
Credit California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty joined together last week to send a letter to Governor Jay Nixon requesting a suspension on executions until the procedures are made more transparent.

Rita Linhardt, chair of the Board for Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, says that a lot of the secrecy issues that led to a botched execution in Oklahoma are similar to the issues within Missouri.  

“We know that there has been controversy in Missouri recently over where Missouri has been receiving its drugs and so we just feel that these components make it highly likely that we would also have a botched execution here in Missouri,” she said.

Linhardt says the joint letter was a great way to share their views with the governor.

Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU says that it’s important that Missouri be warned about botched executions that are in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“When you looked at Oklahoma and saw the eerie parallels between Oklahoma’s procedures and our Missouri procedures we wanted to alert the governor to his responsibility as Chief Executive of the State to ensure that Missouri does not fall into the same trap that Oklahoma fell into,” he said.

Mittman believes the public needs to have a good understanding of the methods the state uses so that they can ensure the procedures are being done appropriately.