JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – For the first time in decades, the Missouri Senate will debate a bill that would repeal the state’s death penalty.
The bill received bipartisan support Tuesday in 4-3 vote of the Senate General Laws and Pensions Committee.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the full Senate has not debated a death penalty repeal bill since 1974.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, acknowledges the bill faces an uncertain future but said it’s important to keep discussing the issue.
The committee heard from Joshua Kezer, who served 16 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of the 1992 murder of a Southeast Missouri State University nursing student. He was released in 2009.
Representatives from the Missouri Sheriff’s Association and the Missouri Police Chiefs Association testified against the bill.