Criminal Justice

Missouri lawmakers bucked national trend by establishing police ‘bill of rights’

BY: and - September 20, 2021

On the final day of the 2021 legislative session in May, Missouri lawmakers passed a “law enforcement bill of rights” that gives officers special legal protections and closes files to police misconduct. When Gov. Mike Parson signed it into law in July, the bill of rights portion was largely overshadowed in press coverage by other […]

St. Louis professor has waged long crusade to end abuse from ‘wandering cops’

BY: and - September 17, 2021

Professor Roger Goldman’s crusade against “wandering cops” began 41 years ago, when two bullets from Joseph Sorbello’s revolver tore through the body of an alleged car thief, Roy Wash, in a parking lot behind a store at 7170 Manchester Boulevard in Maplewood. The shots killed the alleged thief, but they triggered an epiphany for the […]

Missouri schools with lower state funding suffered higher rates of gun violence

BY: - September 14, 2021

Christian Rich has seen more death and violence at age 15 than many experience in a lifetime. His best friend, cousin, and a number of classmates have all been killed with guns. At school, his grief comes out in different ways: fights, arguments with teachers, sometimes walking out of class altogether. He was only in the classroom […]

Few charges result from scores of Missouri highway patrol gambling investigations

BY: - September 14, 2021

During 2019 and 2020, the Missouri State Highway Patrol delivered almost 200 cases to local prosecutors alleging violations of state gambling laws. But according to state court data, only about two dozen cases have actually been filed. In most counties with alleged violations – including eight of 13 with five or more cases – prosecutors […]

Missouri AG won’t defend state officials in lawsuit, citing undisclosed conflict

BY: and - September 9, 2021

When Missouri’s treasurer and secretary of state face off in court this month over a proposed constitutional amendment set to be on the 2022 ballot, both sides will be represented by private attorneys — at a cost to taxpayers of more than $800 an hour.  The reason: Attorney General Eric Schmitt bowed out of the […]

Judge orders no change – for now – in Missouri’s prisoner health care contractor

BY: - September 7, 2021

Work to bring a new contractor for prisoner health care services online in Missouri can continue but the actual transition from Corizon, the current provider, won’t occur until at least early November, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ordered Tuesday. Green issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state from canceling its contract with Corizon […]

VA sending mixed messages for vets about cannabis use to treat PTSD

BY: - September 7, 2021

Despite increasing legal access to medical and recreational cannabis in states across the U.S., veterans face unfair treatment and stigmatization because the U.S.  refuses to recognize marijuana as a viable treatment option.  While the VA has embraced the federally illegal status of the drug, agency policy does not allow discrimination against veterans who acquire medical […]

Roadblocks facing Kevin Strickland’s innocence claim nothing new for Missouri

BY: - September 3, 2021

Kevin Strickland was hopeful Thursday was going to be his first step towards freedom after 40 years in prison. A new law that went into effect Aug. 28 gave Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker a legal avenue to free Strickland, who she says is innocent and wrongly incarcerated. But opposition from the Missouri attorney […]

November trial set for lawsuit challenging $1.4 billion Missouri prison health care contract

BY: - September 2, 2021

A trial will be held in early November to determine whether a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene will take over the contract for prison health care in the Missouri Department of Corrections. In a hearing Thursday, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green set Nov. 3 as the first day in the trial where current provider […]

Feds expand Pell Grant program for prisoners working on college degrees

BY: - August 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Prison inmates around the U.S. are getting the chance to do something that was almost unheard of a generation ago: pursue a college degree while behind bars and with financial support from the federal government. Inmates in 42 states and Washington, D.C., can now get federal grants to work with colleges and universities […]

Judge denies request to block Missouri law invalidating certain federal gun laws

BY: - August 27, 2021

A Cole County judge on Friday refused to block a new state law that declares certain federal gun laws invalid and threatens financial penalties on law enforcement agencies that enforce them. Circuit Judge Daniel Green sided with the state in a lawsuit filed jointly by St. Louis city and county that argued the law violates the […]

Longtime Missouri GOP political consultant pleads guilty to felony tax fraud

BY: - August 25, 2021

David Barklage, a veteran Missouri political consultant and lobbyist, pled guilty to a felony tax charge in U.S. District Court Wednesday afternoon. Barklage, who has been a fixture in Missouri Republican politics for decades, was indicted in April for failing to pay more than $150,000 in taxes over the course of a three-year period. In […]