Who Is Earl Forrest?

On May 11, 2016, Missouri is set to execute Earl Forrest for the murders of Harriett Smith, Michael Wells, and Deputy Joann Barnes in 2002.

Forrest, who was extremely intoxicated and high on methamphetamine at the time of the murders, has always accepted responsibility for the crimes and was willing to accept a life without parole sentence for his actions. Years before the murders, Forrest suffered a serious head injury that left parts of his brain significantly damaged. Unfortunately, his trial attorneys failed to investigate and adequately present the extent of his head injuries. Had the jury been convinced of Mr. Forrest’s head injury, they may not have recommended a death sentence.

While this would be the first execution in Missouri in 2016, Missouri has had a recent history of executing a number of prisoners, a fact that should be deeply troubling for all who believe in the dignity of all human beings.


Take Action to Stop This Execution

You can take action today. Send an email to Governor Nixon asking him to show mercy to Earl Forrest and commute his death sentence to life in jail without parole. Let the governor know that the death penalty should not be used because it disregards the sanctity and dignity of human life.  It also continues the cycle of violence. Emailing the governor is easy: just click here.

There is also a prayer vigil being held on the steps of St. Francis Xavier Church (College Church) at the corner of Lindell and Grand on Saint Louis University’s campus from 3- 4 PM on Wednesday, May 11. It is organized and sponsored by Missourians Against the Death Penalty. This group typically holds prayer vigils on the afternoon of scheduled executions.

Finally, pray for a greater respect for all human life. Ask the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of all in our country to see the dignity in all human persons, particularly in those in whom it may be hardest to see it. Pray too for the victims of crime and their families, those who have been wrongly convicted, and those waiting execution.