Civil Rights

KC Freedom Project’s Latahra Smith answers call for justice from wrongfully convicted

BY: - October 27, 2020

TOPEKA — KC Freedom Project founder Latahra Smith savors the rare court victory overturning a conviction and freeing someone falsely thrown in prison. There is an inevitable celebration of newfound liberty with hugs from family and smiles for cameras, Smith said. Everything seems good, Smith said, but she also appreciates that years of unwarranted incarceration […]

Missouri AG’s office denies allegations it broke law in medical marijuana lawsuit

BY: - October 26, 2020

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office dismissed accusations that his office and the state department of health illegally concealed records and violated the Sunshine Law during the course of a medical marijuana lawsuit, calling the charges “frivolous” and “baseless.” The accusation arose last week in a motion seeking sanctions against Schmitt’s office and the Missouri […]

Barrett nomination advances to U.S. Senate floor with a GOP-only vote

BY: and - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, as Democrats boycotted the markup in a show of protest. The 12 Republicans on the panel speedily voted on Barrett’s nomination and sent it to the Senate floor. The full Senate will […]

Missouri Attorney General candidates divided on key criminal justice reform

BY: - October 21, 2020

St. Louis-native Lamar Johnson has spent 26 years in prison praying that someone would hear his case. In August 2019, that day almost came. “I finally got taken back to St. Louis, and freedom is just right there,” Johnson said in a phone call with The Independent from Jefferson City Correctional Center. “And it was […]

Rev. Michelle Higgins speaks to canvassers

Groups work to energize Missouri’s Black voters in election’s final weeks

BY: - October 20, 2020

All summer and into the fall, the Rev. Michelle Higgins has set aside any thought of leisurely weekends with her family. Instead, she and her two children have been out knocking on doors. “My children’s weekend outings are canvassing and getting to know neighbors around our church building for a specific purpose — and that […]