© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Missouri will execute Brian Dorsey, despite widespread support for clemency

A middle-aged man wearing glasses smiles into the camera.
Jeremy Weis
Brian Dorsey will be executed by the state of Missouri on Tuesday, after Governor Mike Parson declined to commute his sentence to life without parole.

Gov. Mike Parson on Monday confirmed the state will carry out the scheduled execution of Brian Dorsey on Tuesday, April 9. More than 150 people spoke out in support of sparing Dorsey’s life, including over 70 corrections officers and a retired Missouri Supreme Court judge. Dorsey was convicted of murdering his cousin and her husband in 2006.

Brian Dorsey will be executed by the state of Missouri on Tuesday, after Governor Mike Parson declined to commute his sentence to life without parole.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Parson said "the pain Dorsey brought to others can never be rectified, but carrying out Dorsey’s sentence according to Missouri law and the Court’s order will deliver justice and provide closure."

Dorsey was convicted in the 2006 killing of his cousin and her husband in central Missouri. His legal defense team petitioned for clemency last month, asking the governor to commute his sentence to life without parole.

Dorsey's original trial lawyers were paid a flat fee, which the American Bar Association has said should only be used when the work is "straightforward, predictable and routine."

Retired Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Wolff, who upheld Dorsey’s death sentence in 2009, also called for clemency.

Wolff said he and his colleagues were not aware at the time that Dorsey’s legal team had been paid a set amount upfront, compromising the quality of representation he received.

“The legal system doesn't always get it right. And this is an instance where it is a matter of life, or death, and the system failed,” he told Up To Date on Monday.

  • Michael Wolff, retired Missouri Supreme Court Judge and Chief Justice
Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As a producer for Up To Date, I create sound-rich talk show segments about the individuals and communities that call Kansas City home. Whether it’s a poet, a business owner or a local lawmaker, I seek out diverse voices to help break down the biggest stories of the day. After listening to the show, I want Up To Date listeners to feel informed and empowered to make decisions in their daily lives. You can reach me at claudiab@kcur.org
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.