Visit Jean Maneke's website at manekelaw.com, you can also e-mail attorney Jean Maneke at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at (816) 753-9000 with your questions or for help on open meetings/open records issues, advertising regulations and other legal matters. Consultation is free to active members, and Jean is always eager to help. Jean also has a blog that discusses violations of the Sunshine Law in Missouri and ways to keep the SUN SHINING on Missouri government.
Is Government Transparency on Death Row? Open records provide checks and balances
The continued execution of Death Row inmates in Missouri is a subject of significant controversy in this state, as it is nationwide. I know it's a subject with strong passions on both sides, and I am sure those of you who are readers of this column don't all hold the same opinion. However, I want to address an issue that arises out of it which does concern us and talk a little about why Missouri Press has chosen, and continues to choose, to be involved in that issue.
The issue concerns the execution protocol - how the drugs are administered in killing the prisoner. All of you are familiar with what recently happened in Oklahoma. Media coverage of the malfunction of that process was substantial.
Back in 2007, Missouri changed its execution statute (Section 546.720) to make secret the names of people who are members of the execution team. At the time that change was made in the law, and regulations were proposed to enact this secrecy, Missouri Press Association unsuccessfully took a stand before the Department of Corrections seeking to limit the secrecy that was being imposed by state statute. Since that time, the secrecy protocol has become more and more complex. As you have read, pharmaceutical companies became concerned over their drugs being used for executions and some products were no longer available for that use. Then those pharmacies dispensing the drugs began to want confidentiality to... continued...
Tuesday March 3rd
Did you know that tomorrow is National Grammar Day? Check out this article by Poynter Online and share some of your grammar pet peeves with us! Link
Tuesday March 3rd
Don't forget to submit your entries for the 2015 Better Newspaper Contest! The entry deadline is March 31. We're looking forward to this year's contest! Link
Monday March 2nd
Mark your calendars for the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) conference! The conference will be June 24-28 at Reynolds Journalism Institute. Link