Andre Cole was an African-American man who was tried and sentenced to death by an all-white jury in St. Louis County. Despite the systemic exclusion of African-American jurors from his trial, Mr. Cole was executed on April 14. It is no coincidence that St. Louis County embraces the City of Ferguson, which is characterized by its publically condemned and racially biased law enforcement and prosecutorial practices. Nor is it a coincidence that St. Louis County ranks 9th among all counties in the U.S. in the number of murder convictions leading to executions.
Missouri executed Cecil Clayton on March 17. A 74 year old man, who as a result of an industrial accident lost significant portions of his brain, Cecil stands as an example of the fundamental flaws in our system of capital punishment. In 1972, a projectile shot from a working saw shattered the frontal lobe of his brain. This area controls judgment, intellectual functions, and emotional adjustment. Doctors responding to his injury were forced to cut away surrounding dead and damaged tissue in the executive center of his brain. The loss of so much vital
Missouri officials executed Walter Timothy Storey on February 11.
The Missouri Supreme Court has stayed the execution of Marcellus Williams, based on concerns over DNA evidence found at the scene of the crime. Following closely on the heels of MADP's Lobby Day in Jefferson City, and outreach by citizens and MADP members, the Supreme Court's decision represents a response to well-articulated concerns about the death penalty.
In the near future, MADP chapters will be hosting screenings of the documentary Potosi: God in Death Row, in collaboration with producer Lisa Boyd. A powerful exploration of the themes of forgiveness and redemption, the film offers an opportunity to engage in deep discussions regarding the death penalty. The following link provides a short preview of the documentary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXKKYmgOTt4.