Missouri death penalty foes cite 25 years of executions

Death penalty opponents are asking Missouri lawmakers to consider halting executions.

Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty gathered at the state Capitol on Monday to mark nearly 25 years since the state resumed executions.

George Mercer was executed on Jan. 6, 1989, for the rape and slaying of waitress Karen Keeton. Mercer's execution was the state's first after a nationwide moratorium on capital punishment was lifted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976.

An event last week to note the exact anniversary of Mercer's execution was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Missouri has executed two people in the past two months and is scheduled to execute Herbert Smulls on Jan. 29 for the 1991 robbery and slaying of suburban St. Louis jewelry store owner Stephen Honickman.