State Senator Gina Walsh says she is well aware that there will likely be opposition to her controversial proposal to repeal the death penalty in Missouri -- but that's not stopping her from pushing forward.
"My constituency probably won't like it," she tells Daily RFT. "But this is something I support...and I thought it was time to stop being wishy-washy about it. If one person dies because they made a mistake through the death penalty, that is one person too many."
But just how steep of an opposition will Walsh, a St. Louis County Democrat, face?
Senate Bill 247, which has been heard in the Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee of the Senate, mirrors repeal bills across the country, where five states over the last five years have abolished the penalty. There are 33 states, including Missouri, that still have capital punishment -- though about a dozen have not executed anyone in recent years.
SB 247, full draft below, says:
Under current law, the punishment for first degree murder is either life imprisonment without eligibility for parole or death.
This act repeals the punishment of the death penalty for first degree murder. In addition, this act provides that any person sentenced to death before August 28, 2013, must be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Walsh says there are many reasons to oppose the death penalty in Missouri.
"It doesn't deter crime. It discriminates against racial minorities and poor people who can't afford attorneys," she explains. "You can buy your freedom if you have the right guy."
Continue for more of our interview with Gina Walsh and for the full bill.
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