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Capital punishment in Missouri

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the U.S. state of Missouri.

Legal process

When the prosecution seeks the death penalty, the sentence is decided by the jury and must be unanimous. In case of a hung jury during the penalty phase of the trial, the judge decides the sentence.[1] The power of clemency belongs to the Governor of Missouri after receiving a non-binding advice from the Board of Probation and Parole.[2]

Executions are carried out by lethal injection or gas inhalation.[3]

Capital crimes

First-degree murder is punishable by death when it involves one of the 17 following aggravating factors:[4]

  1. The offense was committed by a person with a prior record of conviction for murder in the first degree, or the offense was committed by a person who has one or more serious assaultive criminal convictions;
  2. The murder was committed while the offender was engaged in the commission or attempted commission of another unlawful homicide;
  3. The offender by his act of murder in the first degree knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person by means of a weapon or device which would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person;
  4. The offender committed the offense of murder in the first degree for himself or another, for the purpose of receiving money or any other thing of monetary value from the victim of the murder or another;
  5. The murder was committed against a judicial officer, former judicial officer, prosecuting attorney or former prosecuting attorney, circuit attorney or former circuit attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney or former assistant prosecuting attorney, assistant circuit attorney or former assistant circuit attorney, peace officer or former peace officer, elected official or former elected official during or because of the exercise of his official duty;
  6. The offender caused or directed another to commit murder in the first degree or committed murder in the first degree as an agent or employee of another person;
  7. The murder was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, or depravity of mind;
  8. The murder was committed against any peace officer, or fireman while engaged in the performance of his official duty;
  9. The murder was committed by a person in, or who has escaped from, the lawful custody of a peace officer or place of lawful confinement;
  10. The murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding, interfering with, or preventing a lawful arrest or custody in a place of lawful confinement, of himself or another;
  11. The murder was committed while the defendant was engaged in the perpetration or was aiding or encouraging another person to perpetrate or attempt to perpetrate a felony of any degree of rape, sodomy, burglary, robbery, kidnapping, or any drug felony;
  12. The murdered individual was a witness or potential witness in any past or pending investigation or past or pending prosecution, and was killed as a result of his status as a witness or potential witness;
  13. The murdered individual was an employee of an institution or facility of the department of corrections of this state or local correction agency and was killed in the course of performing his official duties, or the murdered individual was an inmate of such institution or facility;
  14. The murdered individual was killed as a result of the hijacking of an airplane, train, ship, bus or other public conveyance;
  15. The murder was committed for the purpose of concealing or attempting to conceal any drug felony;
  16. The murder was committed for the purpose of causing or attempting to cause a person to refrain from initiating or aiding in the prosecution of a drug felony;
  17. The murder was committed during the commission of a crime which is part of a pattern of criminal street gang activity.

Missouri law also provides the death penalty for treason, and placing a bomb near a bus terminal. Statute books also provide it for aggravating kidnapping, but capital punishment for this crime is no longer constitutional since the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court case Kennedy v. Louisiana.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Trial procedure, first degree murder". Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Executive Clemency". Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Death penalty--manner of execution--execution team to be selected, members, confidentiality". Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  4. ^ Missouri Revised Statutes § 565.032
  5. ^ "Missouri Capital Punishment Laws". Retrieved April 9, 2017. (Code Section)
This page was last edited on 18 August 2019, at 12:00
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