A push to ban executions in Missouri of people who are mentally retarded is criticized as unnecessary. The issue is whether Missouri needs a new law or whether present law adequately protects retarded people who commit murders. Senator Larry Rohrbach of Moniteau County wants to pass a law defining retardation in terms of a person’s ability to communicate, take care of himself, and on the basis of whether a person can be educated or trained. But Ballwin Senator David Klarich says Rohrbach’s bill is unnecessary. He says the present criminal law already protects retarded people from executions…and he reads part of the law to Rohrbach. Klarich says he fears Rohrbach’s bill creates such broad standards that it could lead to the end of the death penalty in Missouri. Rohrbach says prosecutors wrote his bill, and he’s sure they would not write something that would do that. More debate comes later.
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