Missouri appears to have a death penalty moratorium in place, although there’s nothing official about it. The State Supreme Court has six requests from the Attorney General before it, all asking that execution dates be set for state prisoners whose appeals have run their course. The oldest active request for an execution date was filed 30 months ago. The most recent was filed 14 months ago. Attorney General Jay Nixon says he has heard nothing from the court. From 1997 through 2002, Missouri averaged six executions a year, the dates usually set within weeks of the Attorney General’s request. There were only two last year, the most recent one being at the end of last October.Nixon says families of murder victims have to deal with a lot, but he says they should not have to deal with uncertainity from the judicial system. Nixon does not want to say the court has imposed an unofficial moratorium on executions. He says the record speaks for itself. The court is not commenting.
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