JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Senate spent considerable time debating a measure this week that would abolish the death penalty in Missouri. It was the first discussion on the topic in recent years. Senator Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, strongly opposed the measure, citing support of the victims’ families and loved-ones.
Senate Bill 816, sponsored by Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, repeals the punishment of death for first degree murder. Additionally, anyone sentenced to death before Aug. 28, 2016, would be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Senator Parson, a former sheriff, stressed the importance of remembering who the real victims are in first-degree murder cases.
“When this topic is debated, folks want you to believe the killers on death row are the victims,” said Sen. Parson.
“When a crime so atrocious is committed it warrants the consideration of capital punishment, we can’t forget about the victims’ families, and the pain they’ve endured by a senseless act of violence,” continued Sen. Parson. “I’ve seen crime scenes. I’ve witnessed unimaginable things. If a person is willing to violently take another’s life, they should pay the price established in this state. They should not get a free pass to spend the rest of their natural life in the relative comfort of a prison, paid for by the taxpayers.”
“I’ve heard from very few people who are in favor of abolishing the death penalty in this state,” said Sen. Parson. “As a pro-life advocate, I understand the sanctity of life. This is something different, though. These are brutal crimes where victims suffered. I will always stand on the side of victims and support the death penalty in Missouri. I appreciate the debate, but this issue comes down to a very personal sense of justice. For me, the choice is simple, the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for the worst crimes.”
Senator Parson spoke on this topic on the floor on the Missouri Senate. You can view his remarks by clicking on the following link http://www.senate.mo.gov/senator-mike-parson-opposes-repealing-the-death-penalty/