A state lawmaker who favors executions also favors a proposed study of the way the death penalty is administered in Missouri.
The proposal to form a special ten-member study committee has been pushed aside in the Senate but could come back for later consideration. The bill does not call for a moratorium, just a study. Among the ten committee members: a relative of someone under a death sentence and a relative of a murder victim.
Floor Leader Kevin Engler of Farmington has a personal reason for supporting the study. His district includes the prison where executions are carried out. He wants part of the study to be about the impact executions have on those who carry them out, telling the Senate, "If you’re the person…that has to be there and you’re the one that’s watching this person for months…and you’re the one’s in contact with them, you’re the one that’s talking, and then if you’re the one that then has to do the execution, there is emotional effects on that."
He says the state should make sure those who do the executions are confident they are doing the right thing, with no doubt the person they are executing is guilty. Engler says he supports the death penalty and opposes a moratorium on its use.
This bill does not declare a moratorium on executions, but opponents of the study says it’s backed by anti-death penalty interests who want to use the study to end executions