Southeast MO state representative wants to repeal death penalty - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast MO state representative wants to repeal death penalty

Kathy Swan (Source: www.house.mo.gov) Kathy Swan (Source: www.house.mo.gov)
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) -

A southeast Missouri state representative wants to repeal the death penalty in Missouri.

Rep. Kathy Swan (R) represents Cape Girardeau County. She is a co-sponsor on a bill with four other Republicans and a Democrat to repeal the death penalty.

Thirty-one Missourians are sitting on death row right now.
Representative Kathy Swan, along with five other Missouri Lawmakers are fighting to get rid of the Death Penalty for good.
A move one prosecuting attorney says would create problems inside our jails.     

In 2014, 35 people were executed in the U.S.
Missouri accounted for 10 of them, its highest number ever since 1976.
State Representative Kathy Swan wants to remove Missouri from the list of 31 states that allow Capital Punishment.
If House Bill 2064 passes, anyone sentenced to death before August 28th, 2016, would instead get a life sentence without the possibility of probation or parole.
Cape County's Prosecuting Attorney Chris Limbaugh says he is strongly against the idea.
"We are certainly not trying to have vengeance either, that is not the goal,” he said.
Limbaugh says aside from taking violent offenders off the streets and out of our jail systems, he says back in 2002, a 4-year-old girl from Cape County escaped death because of it.
"In his confession, he said the reason why he let the little girl go was because the he knew that Missouri carried the death penalty,” said Limbaugh.
In the state of Missouri there have been 86 inmates put to death since 1976 and there was 6 in 2015 alone.
One Missouri voter agrees with nearly 39% of the U.S. population arguing that number needs to stop increasing.
"I would prefer to see someone incarcerated for life with no chance of parole that to ends someone's life,” said Eleanor Henry.
In the most recent Gallup Poll, about six in 10 Americans favor the use of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder.
However, those numbers have been declining over the last few years.

Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky have the death penalty. Illinois does not have the death penalty.

The bill was introduced on Jan. 7 and had a second reading on Jan. 11.

View the full bill here.

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