Thursday, August 21, 2008

Missouri: Execution Delayed for Clemency Appeal

The Kansas City Star reports that the Missouri Supreme Court has postponed next week's schedulted execution of Dennis Skillicorn in order to allow his lawyers more time to gather information for a clemency petition. At the same time, a petition to overturn his conviction was denied by the court. It is reported that Skillicorn’s lawyers have been granted an extra 30 days to "interview prisoners and prison staff members" for a petition seeking clemency from Gov. Matt Blunt.

The St. Louis Dispatch, which "long has opposed capital punishment in all circumstances" notes:
Skillicorn is a leader in several Christian prison ministries. He helped create a hospice program to care for inmates who are sick and dying. He is the editor of "Compassion," a bi-monthly newsletter for death row inmates nationwide, the mission of which is "promoting restorative justice and reconciliation."

Among the letters sent to Gov. Blunt on behalf of Skillicorn's petition for clemency is one from a fellow death row inmate who wrote, "You got a lot of love in you, my brother. And as I sit here knocking on heaven's door, I will go forth and take with me your strength and honor and total compassion, whether I go forth in this life or the next." The letter was written by Marlin Gray, executed by the state of Missouri on Oct. 26, 2005.
See story here and here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is not an easy or pleasant decision, but you have to keep the victims and their families in mind. Gov. Blunt is on the side of law-and-order here -- it's a tough place to be, but he's doing the right thing.

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