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Press Release: ACLU Files Sixth Lawsuit Against MODOC Within a Year

  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 2, 2014

Contact: Diane Balogh, (314) 669-3425 (w) (314) 827-5352 (c),

dbalogh@aclu-mo.org

 

ST. LOUIS  –  The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri (ACLU of Missouri) filed its sixth lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections (MODOC) seeking documents regarding the state’s execution protocol and policies. Today’s lawsuit regards the process used to select witnesses for executions.

 

The ACLU of Missouri is seeking copies of requests by the public or the media to witness executions, the MODOC’s responses to those requests, and all records indicating the actual witnesses to executions over the past 12 months. “So far, all we have received are a handful of heavily censored documents,” explains Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri. “We want to know if the Missouri Department of Corrections is selecting witnesses in an impartial manner, which is questionable given that potential candidates are first asked their position on the death penalty.”

 

“Witnesses are the eyes of the public and they ensure that those executed do not suffer when the state metes out the ultimate punishment in our name,” says ACLU of Missouri Executive Director Jeffrey A. Mittman. “We need to be able to trust that our witnesses will give us a fair and unbiased account.”

 

The ACLU of Missouri is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to defending and expanding the constitutional rights and civil liberties of all Missourians guaranteed by the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions, and is an affiliate of the national ACLU.

 

Court documents can be found on the ACLU of Missouri website.

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Diane K. Balogh

Communications Director

American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri

454 Whittier Street

St. Louis, MO  63108

314-669-3425

314-652-3112 FAX

dbalogh@aclu-mo.org