Bruce Kilgore      
EXECUTED in Missouri June 16, 1999
         
                                                 Click below to read...
    BRUCE KILGORE'S CLEMENCY PETITION
         

Bruce Kilgore is an African-American whose death penalty case
has fallen through the cracks.  He will die by lethal injection on an upcoming Wednesday morning at the Potosi Correctional Center
in Mineral Point, Missouri, if Governor Mel Carnahan or the courts
fail to intervene.

Bruce and his co-defendant Willie Luckett were convicted in
separate trials of the murder of a St. Louis woman.  Only Bruce
received the death penalty.  Although there is a credible claim
that it's the co-defendant who actually stabbed the victim, only
Bruce received the death sentence.

During the opening statements of Bruce's trial, the prosecutor
did notstate it was Bruce who stabbed the victim.  In fact, the
guilt phase jury instructions identified Willie as the person
who stabbed the victim. During the penalty phase, the State's
theory changed when Willie's girlfriend shocked everyone in
the courtroom and declared for her first time that Bruce admitted
stabbing the victim.  Previously, Willie's girlfriend had given
statements to the police and other authorities, but it was only
when she testified before Bruce's jury that she stated Bruce told
her he had killed the victim.  Just prior to her testimony, Willie's
girlfriend received probation for her role in the victim's death
(hindering prosecution), and her testimony benefitted Willie by
shifting responsibility to Bruce.

Bruce has steadfastly maintained that he did not stab the victim.

In fact, only Willie had motive to kill the victim. Bruce did not know
the victim.  However, the day before the murder, Willie's employers
fired him because the victim reported that Willie was stealing food
from the restaurant they worked together.

Bruce has been denied the right to challenge the effectiveness of
his trial counsel due to the technicality that he did not timely file
a pro se verified motion.  No court has heard merits claims
concerning his trial counsel's performance.

Bruce's execution would result in yet another "procedurally correct"
but morally infirm execution of a man who asserts a credible claim
of actual innocence of being the principal in a case where the more
culpable defendant received life imprisonment.  In comparison to
Willie's life sentence, Bruce's condemnation is unjustly
disproportionate.  Bruce deserves clemency and a commutation
of his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of probation
or parole.
 

    

                                               PLEASE HELP

     WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Ask Gov. Mel Carnahan to commute the sentence,
573/751-3222,
fax 573/751-1495;

State Capitol, Box 720, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

In Kansas City: 889-3186;
St. Louis: 340-6900

Prepared by John Tucci, Assistant Public Defender, St. Louis, MO

     
                          For further information contact:
                   Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty
                                           PO Box 54
                                Jefferson City, MO 65102
                                          573-635-7239

    
 
 
                                                 Click below to read...
       BRUCE KILGORE'S CLEMENCY PETITION

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This page was last updated June 2, 2001       Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty
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