A Missouri House panel is considering legislation to give lawmakers oversight over the state's execution procedures.
Republican Rep. Eric Burlison said Wednesday that his bill would make Missouri's lethal injection method more transparent and accountable to the public.
The measure would require the state Corrections Department to submit a formal outline of an execution procedure to a legislative panel. The panel could then conduct hearings and take public comment on the proposed execution method. The full Legislature would also be able to veto the proposed method.
A Missouri state senator wants to give the Corrections Department flexibility on how it carries out executions.
Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer introduced legislation Wednesday that would allow the department to execute inmates by any lawful means. Current law permits executions only by lethal gas or chemicals.
Schaefer, of Columbia, says legal questions over Missouri's current use of pentobarbital shouldn't be used to block capital punishment in the state. He says his bill would give the department the necessary flexibility to carry out death sentences.
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.
The attorney for convicted killer Joseph Paul Franklin has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to halt Franklin's execution, citing concerns about the state's plan to use a drug obtained from a compounding pharmacy.
Attorney Jennifer Herndon, in a document filed Tuesday, wrote that the use of pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy puts Franklin at risk for a painful execution.