The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 14, 2012

State experiences vary with use of death penalty

First among states for executions is Texas, which has put to death 481 prisoners since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma ranks third with 98 executions, including two in 2011. Earlier this year, the state of Oklahoma executed Gary Roland Welch at the state penitentiary in McAlester for the 1994 slaying of Robert Dean Hardcastle in Miami, Okla.

Oklahoma’s attorney general’s office also is appealing a stay of execution issued for an inmate who was scheduled to die last week.

Garry Allen was set to die Thursday, but on Wednesday afternoon, federal Judge David Russell issued the stay, ruling that Allen’s claims that he is insane and ineligible for the death penalty should be reviewed.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office immediately filed its notice of appeal with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In the appeal, the state argues that courts have found Allen sane and that he’s capable of understanding his execution is for the 1986 murder of Gail Titsworth.

Allen has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and his attorneys argue his mental state deteriorated on death row.

Missouri

Missouri has 47 people on death row and ranks fifth in the number of executions since 1976, with 68.

The most recent prisoner to be put to death in Missouri was Martin Link, who was executed on Feb. 9, 2011, for the 1991 kidnapping, rape and murder of 11-year-old Elissa Self-Braun, of St. Louis.

Chris Collings, of Wheaton, is the most recent Missourian sentenced to death row. On March 23, jurors agreed on capital punishment for his kidnapping, raping and slaying of 9-year-old Rowan Ford.

Others from Southwest Missouri on death row are Cecil Clayton, sentenced in December 1997 by a Jasper County jury for the 1996 first-degree murder of Barry County Deputy Christopher Castetter, and Mark Christeson, sentenced in September 1999 by a Vernon County jury for three counts of first-degree murder in the 1998 deaths of Susan Brouk and her two children.

Kansas

Kansas now has nine people on death row, including Gary Kleypas, who was sentenced to death for the killing of Carrie Williams in 1996 in Pittsburg.

The death penalty was first abolished in Kansas in 1907 by Gov. Edward Hoch. In 1935, the death penalty was reinstated, but no executions took place until 1944. The state had the death penalty statute in effect until a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck it down.

After the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that reinstated the constitutionality of it, numerous attempts were made to reinstate the death penalty. Gov. John Carlin vetoed reinstatement legislation in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1985.

The current death penalty statute was enacted in 1994 when Gov. Joan Finney allowed it to become law without her signature. In 2004, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled capital punishment unconstitutional, but it was reinstated after the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Kansas death penalty was constitutional.

In 2010, the Kansas Senate was one vote short of voting to replace the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole for the crime of aggravated murder.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison

    A federal judge has sentenced Kathryn M. Stayton to 13 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Frank Fletcher Ford and Credit Cars of Joplin. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays assessed the 36-year-old Joplin woman the prison term at a sentencing hearing this week in federal court in Springfield. The judge also ordered the former controller at both car dealerships to pay restitution totaling $121,249. 51.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screening of MSSU presidential applicants to wrap by end of April

    The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University could be in a position to name a president as early as the end of June, according to a timeline presented Friday by the co-chair of the presidential search committee.

    April 18, 2014

  • Teams from Carl Junction, Diamond advance in Destination Imagination

    Student teams from Carl Junction and Diamond will be traveling to Destination Imagination finals May 20-24 in Knoxville, Tenn., after being top finishers in competition this month at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 18, 2014

  • Neosho Dogwood Tour reset, after false start

    The 53rd annual Neosho Dogwood Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27. The event, presented by the Neosho Rotary Club and the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, originally was scheduled for Sunday, April 13.

    April 18, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pittsburg Farmer's Market to open in new building, new location

    The official market season in Pittsburg, Kan., will kick off in the market’s new pavilion-style building at a new address, 11th and Broadway, on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Market hours will continue throughout the season on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with some Wednesdays or other special days throughout the season as announced.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter