"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

“Life in the Fast Lane”

May 14th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

Rep. Jolie Justus’ Blog:

I spent the majority of my time on Tuesday on two issues – death penalty and guns. I’d like to report that we spent time on healthcare for children, the elderly and disabled; education for kids in foster care; or low-income housing – but such is the nature of today’s General Assembly. Priorities are set by lobbyists and the majority party. The rest of us are just along for the ride. I realize that sounds a bit cynical, but the most vulnerable in our state can’t afford lobbyists, so unfortunately, it is up to those of us in the minority to provide a voice to all Missourians.

The death penalty debate focused on confidentiality for members of an execution team (we call it the “hooded executioner” bill). Last year the St. Louis P-D reported the name of the doctor who was the subject of a lawsuit regarding the execution protocol used in Missouri. It’s a tough issue. I have been unabashedly opposed to the death penalty for as long as I can remember. I have represented two men on death row. It is an issue that I care passionately about.

The Department of Corrections would like to keep the names of the execution team confidential. I understand their concerns. Executions are legal in this state and as such, we have to hire individuals who will carry out the deed. Without confidentiality, there is a concern that team members will be targeted for harassment or worse by friends or family of the person on death row. Without confidentiality, it is hard to find people willing to do these tasks. From a management perspective I understand the issue, but as a death penalty opponent, it is a good thing we can’t find people who are willing to “do the deed.” Read more…

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Tags: MO Legislature · Sen. Jolie Justus

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