Rep. Cori Bush speaks to reporters

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) speaks to reporters on October 22, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

After Missouri Executes Brian Dorsey, Cori Bush Says Abolish Death Penalty

His case, the congresswoman said, "demonstrates the systemic rot of our criminal legal system, which not only fails to prevent violence but actually enables violence itself."

Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Cori Bush renewed her demand for an end to the death penalty nationwide after her home state of Missouri executed 52-year-old Brian Dorsey on Tuesday evening.

"There is no place in a humane society for state violence. Gov. Mike Parson could have saved Brian Dorsey's life by granting clemency, but he chose to uphold his legacy as the 'Deadly Governor' by denying Mr. Dorsey mercy," Bush said in a statement.

Bush and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) had written to Parson last week urging the Republican to spare Dorsey's life.

Others who recently tried to prevent Dorsey's execution included family members, five of the jurors who sentenced him to death, over 70 current and former correctional officers, and former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Michael Wolff, who previously upheld his sentence.

The right-wing U.S. Supreme Court also declined to intervene. Dorsey was injected with a single dose of pentobarbital at the state prison in Bonne Terre and pronounced dead at 6:11 pm local time, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

"Dorsey took a few deep breaths as the drug was injected, then several shallow, quick breaths," The Associated Pressreported Tuesday. "At one point he raised his head from the pillow and blinked hard. After several seconds, all movement stopped."

Based on advice from private counsel hired by the Missouri State Public Defender to defend him, Dorsey pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for killing his cousin, Sarah Bonnie, and her husband, Benjamin Bonnie, at their home on December 23, 2006.

"Had counsel investigated and completed an expert evaluation of their client, they would have learned that Mr. Dorsey was not guilty of first-degree murder, as he was neurologically incapable of deliberation," a lawyer for Dorsey wrote in a recent legal filing.

Bush—who is among dozens of congressional Democrats who have advocated against capital punishment—expressed alarm that Dorsey was killed "despite serious concerns about his state of mind when he committed the offense and the legal representation he was provided."

His case, she said, "demonstrates the systemic rot of our criminal legal system, which not only fails to prevent violence but actually enables violence itself."

"We are so much more than our worst mistakes, and not a single one of us deserves to die because of them," the congresswoman added. "We must refuse to allow another life to be taken by our government. We must abolish the death penalty."

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