Mississippi Execution

Both proponents and opponents of the death penalty are speaking out on the issue.

Members of the American Civil Liberties Union argue that 39-year-old Tracy Alan Hansen should not be put to death.

However, proponents of the death penalty are being just as vocal. In fact, local highway patrol officials say the verdict has already been given and therefore should stand!

"Of course, we think the law pretty well speaks for itself concerning the penalty. This was a serious crime," said one death penalty supporter.

Troop H Sergeant Ronnie Carter with the Mississippi Highway Patrol knew trooper Bruce Ladner. In 1987 Hansen gunned down Ladner during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 10 on the Gulf Coast.

"We as troopers feel that the law was violated and it was a serious offense which affected a lot of people," said Sgt. Carter.

In 1990 and then again in 1992 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down rulings which overturned 26 murder convictions in Mississippi. Because of that, no one has been executed in Mississippi in 13 years. however, that could soon change. Aside from Hansen's case, state officials say there are two death row inmates who could face execution later this year.

Hansen is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection, Wednesday at 6 PM at Parchman Prison.