EXECUTIONS TO RESUME AFTER FOUR YEARS?
If you agree that Dennis should be permitted to spend the rest of his life in prison and continue his positive work, please write Steve Long, Chair, Board of Probation and Parole, 1511 Christy Drive, Jefferson City, Missouri 65101, FAX (573) 751‐ 8501 .
For further questions, contact Jennifer Merrigan, Mr. Skillicorn’s attorney since 2006, at (816) 363‐2795.
“I plead to you sir…grant clemency not just for Dennis Skillicorn, but also for the sake of the safety and security of this community. To remove Dennis…is to remove one of the leaders of this community and could lead to this community’s collapse.” — Herb Conley, Current Chaplain, Potosi Correctional Center, Letter to Missouri Governor
The Missouri Supreme Court has set an execution date of May 20, 2009, against Dennis Skillicorn.
Dennis’ execution would be a tragedy for Potosi Correctional Center, where he has been a leader and a positive role model for other prisoners, especially those who will be released. His death sentence relies on the suppression of exculpatory evidence by the prosecutor and the trial judge.
• Dennis is deeply remorseful for his part in the
crimes leading up to the murder of Richard
Drummond. He has spent the past decade
working for restorative justice and trying to make
amends for his part in what happened.
• Dennis is the editor of Compassion Magazine, a
publication authored by men under sentence of
death and dedicated to victim outreach. It has
raised over $34,000 for scholarships for family
members of murder victims.
• Dennis created and edited Today’s Choices Affect
Tomorrow’s Dreams, a book aimed at helping
troubled youth make good choices and change
their lives. It consists of first‐hand accounts by
men under sentence of death about the
consequences of their poor decisions. The books
are provided for free to juvenile detention
centers across the country. Dennis has been
asked to do a second book which he is currently
compiling. It will teach young offenders life skills
they need to avoid further criminal behavior.
• Dennis was a founder of 4‐H LIFE at Potosi
Correctional Center. The family‐strengthening
program fosters positive interaction between
children and their incarcerated parents, teaching
the children leadership skills and good decisionmaking
to help them avoid the path of their
incarcerated parents. The program includes
classes for inmates on effective parenting and
communication skills and conflict resolution.
Through 4‐H Life, Dennis has raised funds for
organizations working with children. The
program began as Dennis’s idea and has now
been instituted in two other prisons in Missouri.
• Dennis is vice‐chair (and immediate past chair) of
the Hospice program at Potosi Correctional
Center. Hospice helps prison nursing staff by
providing around‐the‐clock care to chronically ill
and dying prisoners at Potosi. It gives offenders a
way to break away from the norms of prison
culture and demonstrate the importance of
respect and compassion to all inmates.
• Dennis ministers to thousands of prisoners in
Missouri and Illinois through Set Free Ministries.
Since Dennis joined the Ministry in 1996, it has
grown from an office of three to twenty at Potosi
Correctional Center. A second office has opened
in Missouri’s Charleston facility.
• Dennis is innocent of first‐degree murder. He did
not kill Mr. Drummond, nor did he know that
Allen Nicklasson would kill Mr. Drummond. Codefendant
Nicklasson has at all times before and
after his arrest taken full responsibility for killing
Mr. Drummond. Approximately one‐half hour
after the murder, Mr. Nicklasson told associates
that he alone had killed Mr. Drummond. He told
FBI agents at the time of his arrest that he
marched Mr. Drummond into the woods while
Dennis stayed behind in the car, and that Dennis
had no idea that Mr. Nicklasson was going to
shoot Mr. Drummond. To this day, Mr.
Nicklasson has remained consistent with this
account and has always taken full responsibility
for the murder.
• The jury that convicted Dennis and sentenced
him to die was never allowed to hear from Mr.
Nicklasson. This knowledge was crucial to the
jury’s ability to make a fair, reliable, and fully
informed decision. The jury foreman himself has
acknowledged that he would not have voted for
death had he heard this information. Because
the state denied them that information, over
defense objection, his sentence of death is
unconstitutional and above all unreliable.