The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 25, 2014

Our View: Find execution solution

Communities across Southwest Missouri have switched on porch lights and walked through streets “lighting the darkness” for Hailey Owens.

Hailey, a 10-year-old Springfield girl, was abducted a week ago today as she walked through her neighborhood. Her body was found in the early morning hours the next day inside trash bags. The little girl had been shot.

The suspect in Hailey’s death has been accused of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and kidnapping.

Adriaunna Horton, a 12-year-old Golden City girl, was abducted in August just a short distance from her home, raped and then murdered.

The man accused of the crime has been charged with first-degree murder and rape. It’s expected that the prosecution will seek the death penalty.

And, on Nov. 2, 2007, 9-year-old Rowan Ford, of Stella, was abducted and brutally raped; her body was tossed into a hole.

Chris Collings, convicted in 2012 of Rowan’s death, was sentenced to death.

New arguments against the death sentence have surfaced in the face of hard-to-obtain execution drugs. Missouri has turned to using compounding pharmacies for the drugs, and the origin of those drugs is kept secret. Death penalty opponents say the lack of scrutiny raise concerns about whether the inmate could suffer during the execution process.

Our question: How badly did Hailey Owens, Adriaunna Horton and Rowan Ford suffer in the hours before their deaths?

Missouri and other states need to find a solution to execution drugs. We continue to support the use of the death penalty to punish those convicted of brutalizing and murdering our children.

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