“Missouri should not be a party to murder.” That’s the message from Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty, a group who has dropped off nearly 7,000 signatures to Gov. Mike Parson’s office.

The anti-death penalty group wants Parson to block Tuesday’s scheduled execution of David Hosier, a man convicted of killing Angela Gilpin at her Jefferson City apartment in 2009.

Michelle Smith, the group’s co-director, said despite Parson choosing not to block a state execution at this point, she said they must not give up hope.

“That should not be our question of society, if that one individual deserves to die. The question is does society deserve to kill,” Smith told Missourinet.

David Hosier (Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Corrections)

David Hosier (Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Corrections)

Smith said Missouri can still be tough on crime without using the death penalty.

“States that have the death penalty have worse crime,” said Smith. “That is the reality. States that do not have the death penalty, their crime rates are lower than ours. So, we can’t say that the death penalty stops crime or stops, you know, the next person from killing someone. It does not.”

Reverend Jeff Hood is Hosier’s spiritual advisor. He plans to be with Hosier on Tuesday during Hosier’s final moments of life.

“It’s like I meet someone in the last six to three months of their lives in order to become their best friend, in order to love them as much as I possibly can, to ultimately watch them die, and to be there with them as they die. So, it is it’s a unique, it’s a unique calling. It’s a unique job,” Hood told Missourinet.

Over the last 18 months, Hood has advised six other death penalty inmates in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Texas.

“I think it’s very important to always reflect on number one, if it was your child, if it was your dad, if it was your grandfather, how would you feel? Two, are we going to be any better off on Wednesday morning than we were on Tuesday morning,” asked Hood. “And lastly, I think it’s also important for us to reflect on what this does to us. What is the execution of David Hosier going to do to us? How can you go all over the state and teach children not to kill, by killing? You can’t.”

Prosecutors said Hosier, 69, was Gilpin’s scorned ex-lover who had been stalking her. Law enforcement also found the body of Gilpin’s husband, Rodney, in her apartment. Hosier was found hours after the crimes in Oklahoma with 400 rounds of ammunition and 15 guns.

Hosier maintains his innocence. He does not have any court appeals asking for his death sentence to be stopped.

Missourinet is serving as a witness in Tuesday’s scheduled execution.

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