Missouri Lawmaker Wants Swift Justice for Criminals Who Kidnap and Murder Victims

Published 02/27 2014 09:05PM

Updated 02/28 2014 07:21AM

(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) A Missouri lawmaker wants to speed up justice for criminals who kidnap and murder their victims.

Missouri State Senator Dan Brown wants to shorten the amount of time an inmate can be put to death after an appeal.
The piece of legislation his is proposing revolves around the Greene Country prosecutor pursing and getting the death penalty as a punishment for Craig Michael Wood.

Wood is charged in the kidnapping and death of 10-year-old Hailey Owens.

The Rolla republican said the last week in Missouri shows justice moves too slowly for the state's youngest victims.

Brown points to the case of 15-year-old Ann Harrison.

"Michael Taylor was finally executed this week," he said. "It's nearly 25 years that he sat on death row. She was abducted, raped and murdered when she was 15 years old 25 years ago."

Brown said things should be different for the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Hailey.

"For an absolute loss of an angel's life. It was a heinous crime, a heinous act and I hope justice is done swiftly and completely," said Sen. Brown.

Brown modeled his bill after a Florida Law enacted in 2013.

The bill limits the amount of time that can pass from the date of the offenders last failed appeal to the execution.

Brown said this does not shortchange the defendants right to appeal.

"The person that has done the act is going to get his day in court. All of his appeals he will get. Nothing is cut short. What we're doing is tightening up the time frame."

Brown said criminals need to know where the state stands on this issue and Hailey's family deserves justice.

"I want Hailey's mother and Hailey's family to know the State of Missouri stands with them and we grieve with them."

Brown said it make take several years to enact this type of legislation but he will not back down from the challenge.

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