Hours before the scheduled execution of convicted inmate Jeffrey Ferguson, the state House has rejected an attempt to change how the Department of Corrections pays for executions.
Department Director George Lombardi testfied to a House Committee in February that all those involved in the execution protocol are paid in cash. That includes the maker of execution drugs, who Lombardi confirmed sells the drugs to a Corrections representative in a face-to-face, cash transaction.
An amendment offered by Representative Jeremy LaFaver (D-Kansas City) would have prevented the Corrections Department from expending funds from its budget in cash.
“I believe it’s the only department where we allow multi-thousand dollar cash disbursements with virtually no tracking, no ability to track who procured these funds, who spent these funds, on what they spent them,” says LaFaver. “I think it’s a dangerous path to head down.”
House Republicans argued the amendment would halt the execution process in Missouri, and said there is good reason that cash is used to pay those involved in that process.
“The reason they use cash is for the protection of those involved in an execution,” says the Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee on Corrections, Marsha Haefner (R-St. Louis). “I think that anyone with any common sense can understand that.”
The amendment was defeated 41-101.