A Smithville woman would like to see stiffer penalties for anyone convicted of murder and rape against children.
Donna Roesle, who has her own children as well as grand-children plans on taking her harsh sentence recommendation to Missouri lawmakers in May.
Roesle owns a salon school in Smithville and said she started going door-to-door after hearing the tragedy of 10-year-old Hailey Owens, who was kidnapped and murdered last week in Springfield.
Roesle would like to see immediate castration and in some cases be executed within 30 days of their conviction.
At least nine states allow chemical castration for repeat sex offenders.
She has started a petition along with her daughter on change.org.
So far, more than 19,000 people have signed it and 14,000 support it.
“Sometimes they get out on good behavior, then walk the streets again. We just feel like instead of spending all of our money letting them sit in prison, roof over their heads, food,” said Roesle’s daughter Jennifer.
It would be extremely unlikely that the effort to execute someone within 30 days of their conviction would pass because of the U.S. Constitution’s due-process guarantee, and appeals can’t be heard within a month.
Roesle’s daughter says they have enough signatures to go ahead and send it to the Governor before the May deadline but she says they are going to extend the availability of the petition until closer to the time it has to be turned over to Gov. Nixon.
If you would like to help support this effort by collecting signatures in your area. Email Donna or Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the petition.
Rep. Senator Dan Brown of the 16th District is proposing legislation that maybe on the lines of what Roesle is hoping for. Brown says the Timely Justice Act is a law that was passed in Florida in 2013 that stream-lines the death penalty process.
The bill filed on Wednesday would limit extensions for appeals, and the state Supreme Court would need to hear arguments within six months of the last written argument and they would then have another six months to issue their decision. The measure would also require that courts issue a warrant to carry-out the execution no more than 10-days after the defendant’s state and federal appeals have been exhausted.
Senator Brown filed the bill one week from when Hailey Owens was found in Springfield and the same day that convicted rapist and murderer, Michael Taylor was executed for the 1989 abduction of a Kansas City Teenager.
Dennis Fritz was wrongfully convicted, and he believes immediate execution or castration would be problematic. He spent 12 years in Oklahoma for a rape and murder he didn’t commit.
“I came within one vote of getting the death penalty,” Fritz said.
He said killing a child is the worst thing.
“Even the inmates don’t like that. They hate that too,” he said. “On the other side of that, we all have our right to a fair trial.”