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The Missouri House passed a bill to exempt the mentally retarded from the death penalty

March 7, 2001
By: Renny MacKay
State Capital Bureau

In a week filled with talk of the death penalty in Missouri, the House of Representatives passed a bill to exempt the mentally retarded from the death penalty.

Renny MacKay has the story.

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Earlier this week the Supreme Court stayed the execution of a Missouri man...to look at the issue of his mental capability.

Now the Missouri House has passed legislation that would prevent the execution of people without the mental capability to understand the crime they committed.

Representative Craig Hosmer supports the death penalty, but not for the mentally retarded.

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Contents: Hosmer says that only people with an adult understanding of their crime should be put to death.

The Senate still must pass the legislation and it won't apply to anyone currently on death row, including Antonio Richardson, the man who's life was temporarly spared this week.

At the state capital I'm Renny MacKay for KMOX News.


The Missouri House passed a bill to exempt the mentally retarded from the death penalty. The sponsor of the bill says it brings both sides of the issue together, but others say it needs some changes.

Renny MacKay has more on this issue from Jefferson City.

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Representative Craig Hosmer is the sponsor of the bill that passed the House. He supports the death penalty, but not in its current form.

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Contents: Hosmer says the state exempts children from the death penalty and

should also exempt people who think like children.

The handler of a similar bill in the Senate says there needs to be some changes in the language of the bill to tighten up the definition of who is mentally retarded.

In Jefferson City, Renny MacKay, KMOX News.


This week a Missouri man sentanced to death had his execution stayed because of issues surrounding his mental capabilities. The Missouri House then passed a bill to exempt the mentally retarded from the death penalty.

Renny MacKay has more from Jefferson City.

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Antonio Richardson had his life temporarily saved this week. He is accused of raping and killing two sisters in 1991. But his execution was delayed after he had eaten his last meal.

Representative Craig Hosmer sponsored the bill to exempt the mentally retarded from executions. He says it won't apply to Richardson or anyone else on death row right now, but could prevent similar situations from arising.

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Contents: He says he wants the system to define someone's mental capability before trial begins, not way down the line in the appeals process.

The Senate must still pass the legislation, and there is an issue of wording of the House bill.

Renny MacKay, Jefferson City, KMOX News.


Days after the Supreme Court stayed the execution of Antonio Richardson, the man accused of murdering and raping two sisters in 1991, the Missouri House passed a bill that could have prevented Ricahardson from ever being put on death row.

Renny MacKay has more from Jefferson City.

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The Supreme Court stayed the execution because of concerns over the mental capability and age of Richardson when he committed the crime.

If passed this bill would decide at trial if a person is mentally capable or not, but whether it passes or not won't effect Ricardson.

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Contents: Representative Craig Hosmer says this bill won't apply to him or any other current death row inmate.

Representative Craig Hosmer, sponsor of the bill, also says that he isn't sure if the criteria his bill requires for defining someone as mentally retarded would apply to Richardson.

What he does say is that he wants to prevent the execution of anyone who doesn't have an adult's understanding of the crime they committed.

Renny MacKay, Jefferson City, KMOX News.