Death Penalty Commission

AUDIO: Hearing before the Missouri House Criminal Law Committee on HB 1887.

This bill places a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty from August 28, 2000, until January 1, 2003, during which time a commission on the death penalty, created by the bill, is to study all aspects of the death penalty in Missouri. The bill designates the members of the commission and directs it to hold public hearings. The commission’s findings, which must include recommendations for corrective amendments to the statutes and court rules, are to be available to the Governor, Legislature, and the Supreme Court at the end of the moratorium period. Co-Sponsors of the bill: Liese, Schilling, Bray, Hilgemann, Riback Wilson (25), Gunn, O’Connor. The following witnesses testified at the February 23rd hearing in Jefferson City:

  • Rep. Chris Liese (D-Maryland Heights); Rep. Mike Schilling (D-Springfield)
  • Former U. S. Senator Thomas Eagleton
  • Sean O’Brien – Professor at UMKC School of Law
  • Rev. John R. Gaydos – Bishop of Jefferson City
  • Rev. Larry Rice – New Life Evangelistic Center
  • John Simon – Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Paula Skillikorn – wife of Death Row inmate Dennis Skillikorn
  • Ellen Reasonover – served 16 years of a life sentence for murder. Recently released.
  • Carol and John Angelbeck (Troy, MO) – parents of murder victim, Mindy Griffin
  • Karen Long (Lake of the Ozarks) – daughter-in-law of Jim and Zelma Long who were murdered in their De Soto home in 1996.
  • Peggy Coleman (St. Charles County) – mother of 1997 murder victim.

Minor portions of this hearing were edited or deleted where comments were unintelligible.