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House votes to ban execution of mentally retarded

May 02, 2001
By: Matt Williams
State Capital Bureau
Links: SB 267

JEFFERSON CITY - The state would no longer execute the mentally retarded as part of a larger measure approved by the House Wednesday to change court procedures.

"I cannot imagine a vote against such an important issue as the elimination of something that I truly believe is cruel and unusual punishment," said Rep. Ralph Monaco, D-Raytown, who sponsored the bill in the House.

"The 8th amendment to the constitution is compromised when you put to death someone who really was not capable of understanding the nature of the crime," Monaco said, referring the protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Also included are provisions sponsored by Columbia Rep. Vicki Riback Wilson to lower the age to serve on a jury to 18 years.

The measure must be reconciled with a Senate version before it is sent to the governor.