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Coalition calls for moratorium on death penalty in Mo.

Reuters File Photo

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A coalition made up mostly of death penalty opponents wants a moratorium on capital punishment in Missouri and a study conducted on the state's execution system.

The resolution penned by the group Moratorium Now! states in part that the death penalty has been used capriciously against minorities, the poor, and those who hired bad lawyers.

Among those backing the proposal is State Representative Bill Deeken (R, Jefferson City), a long-time supporter of capital punishment.

"What would you do if you were sitting on a jury and you put a man to death, you voted to put him to death, and five years later you find out that that man was innocent? That would be something that I would have to carry with me the rest of my life," Deeken said.

Coalition members plan to deliver a petition calling for a moratorium to Governor-elect Jay Nixon and to incoming legislative leaders preparing for the 2009 regular session.


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