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Death Penalty Discussion


Death penalty opponents will be speaking at SMS tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 in Carrington Hall. KSMU's Missy Shelton gives you a preview and a look at arguments on both sides of the issue:

OSEPH AMRINE SAYS HE'S VERY FORTUNATE TO BE TRAVELING AROUND SPRINGFIELD TODAY AND TOMORROW AS PART OF THE "JUSTICE TALKS" PRESENTATIONS HE'LL MAKE WITH TWO OTHER SPEAKERS. BEFORE HE WAS RELEASED FROM MISSOURI'S DEATH ROW, HE SAYS HE REMEMBERS WHEN THE POSSIBILITY OF EXECUTION BECAME A REALITY FOR HIM. SEVENTEEN YEARS AFTER WINDING UP ON DEATH ROW, AMRINE WAS RELEASED. HE SAYS TECHNOLOGY HELPED PROVE HIS INNOCENCE. DURING HIS VISIT TO S-M-S, AMRINE WILL SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY. BUT AMRINE WILL HAVE A HARD TIME CONVINCING SOME PEOPLE THAT THE STATE SHOULD ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY. THE BROTHER OF JULIE GULLEDGE WAS MURDERED IN JANUARY OF 1997. THREE PEOPLE ARE SERVING TIME IN PRISON...THEY AVOIDED CAPITOL PUNISHMENT THROUGH PLEA-BARGAINS. GULLEDGE SAYS SHE SUPPORTS THE DEATH PENALTY AS DO MOST FAMILY MEMBERS OF MURDER VICTIMS. GULLEDGE SAYS SHE'S CONCERNED THAT MURDERERS MAY WIN RELEASE IF THEY'RE NOT EXECUTED. SO, SHE SAYS LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE DEATH PENALTY. GULLEDGE SAYS SHE DOESN'T WANT TO SEE INNOCENT PEOPLE PUT TO DEATH. BUT SHE SAYS THERE'S A WAY TO MAKE SURE THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN. WOULD THE EXECUTION OF THOSE CONVICTED IN HER BROTHER'S MURDER BRING GULLEDGE CLOSURE? POLLS SHOW MOST MISSOURIANS AGREE WITH GULLEDGE AND SUPPORT THE DEATH PENALTY. BUT THAT DOESN'T WORRY JOE AMRINE. HE SAYS HE WANTS PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT THE DEATH PENALTY ISN'T APPLIED FAIRLY. JOE AMRINE WILL SPEAK ALONG WITH DEFENSE ATTORNEY CYNDY SHORT AND EXONERATED DEATH ROW INMATE DENNIS FRITZ THIS EVENING FROM 6:30 TO 8:30 IN CARRINGTON HALL ON THE S-M-S CAMPUS.