More organizations call on Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to halt the execution of Michael Tisius
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - As the execution date of Michael Tisius – who was convicted of shooting and killing two county jailers at Randolph County Jail during a botched attempt to free a former cellmate – creeps closer, another organization has urged Republican Gov. Mike Parson to grant clemency to the 42-year-old death row inmate.
Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty has joined calls alongside the American Bar Association urging Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to halt the execution of Tisius, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection June 6.
Tisius, who was convicted of the double murder when he was 19, has been detained for over two decades since his conviction in 2001.
Last week, the American Bar Association argued that Tisius, because he was a teenager when he was convicted of the double murder, experienced delayed brain maturation, inept legal counsel and a diminished ability to anticipate the consequences of his actions. Repeated and prolonged child abuse, the American Bar Association’s letter read, made Tisius’s decision-making capacity and ability to control his behavior below that of even a typical 19-year-old.
Now, Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty, a statewide advocacy organization, will deliver letters and petitions to Parson’s office Tuesday at the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City in an attempt to persuade Parson to commute Tisius’s life sentence to life without parole.
A press release from the advocacy organization said that prison adjustment experts and multiple psychiatrists have identified Tisius as an “exemplary prisoner” who has not had any prison conduct violations for a decade. Therefore, advocates argue that Tisius, who the press release claims “understands the seriousness of his offenses and shows empathy and remorse for the people he has hurt,” should be allowed to live out his life in prison.
They argued the execution of juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment, which outlaws “cruel and unusual punishments.”
Missouri has executed 95 inmates since 1976, when the death penalty was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court, and 17 people currently reside on death row. Since November, Missouri executed three people, joining just a handful of states who have utilized the death penalty this year compared to the vast majority of states who chose to abolish or not use the death penalty within the last decade. In early February, 58-year-old Leonard Taylor was executed for the 2004 murder of his girlfriend.
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