Federal Court Overturns Missouri Death Sentence Over Failures of Counsel

U.S. District Judge  E. Richard Webber ordered Missouri to sentence 39-year-old David Barnett to life in prison without parole, unless prosecutors decide within to pursue another death sentence within 180 days. The Judge ruled Barnett’s attorneys failed to adequately investigate and present evidence relating to mitigation issues, such as subjection to pervasive physical and sexual abuse, history of childhood suicide attempts, and  mental health problems.

CT Declares Death Penalty Unconstitutional

Another state, namely Connecticut,  has acknowledged the fact that the death penalty fails to serve any legitimate purpose and does not comport with contemporary standards of decency.  According to the Court, "Upon careful consideration ofthe defendant's claims in light ofthe governing constitutional principles and Connecticut's unique historical and legal landscape, we are persuaded that, following its prospective abolition, this state's death penalty no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency and no longer serves any legitimate penological purpose.

"Shameful" New Evidence of Racial and Geographic Arbitrariness of Missouri Executions

In response to new research released today by Political Science Professor Frank Baumgartner revealing significant racial, gender, and geographic disparities with regards to who is executed in Missouri, former North Kansas City Police Chief Glenn Ladd, stated that the information points to the fundamental arbitrariness of capital punishment.  Baumgartner’s research indicates that a majority of the state’s 80 executions  (between 1976 and 2014) come from just three, or 2.6%, of Missouri’s 114 counties and the independent city of St.