Criminal Justice

Kansas police chief resigns after body cam footage shows him rifling through records about himself

BY: - October 4, 2023

TOPEKA, Kansas — Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody has resigned, less than two months after he instigated a widely covered raid on a local newspaper that culminated in a federal lawsuit and one woman’s death. Marion Mayor David Mayfield announced Cody’s departure during a Monday city council meeting, following the previous week’s announcement that Cody […]

Retired Missouri Supreme Court judge joins staff of St. Louis circuit attorney

BY: - October 4, 2023

ST LOUIS— Recently retired Missouri Supreme Court Judge George Draper III has been named to a newly created job of “chief training officer” in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, promising to share the experience he gained from serving on the bench and as a prosecutor. He will start on Oct. 23, with an annual salary […]

Missouri Supreme Court weighs constitutionality of law banning sleeping on public land

BY: - September 27, 2023

The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments over the constitutionality of a wide-ranging law passed by the legislature last year banning sleeping on public land. Missouri lawmakers made sleeping on state-owned land a Class C misdemeanor, along with a slew of other provisions such as restricting state funding for permanent supportive housing in favor […]

St. Louis asks Missouri Supreme Court to overturn police ‘bill of rights’ law

BY: - September 27, 2023

A law requiring cities to cover costs of damages when individual officers are found liable in police misconduct cases should be thrown out because it illegally imposes new duties and expenses on local governments, lawyers for St. Louis argued to the Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday. In defense of the law, Assistant Attorney General Jason […]

Menendez urged to step down by a growing number of U.S. Senate Democrats

BY: and - September 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen U.S. Senate Democrats are calling on New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez to resign following his indictment on corruption charges for the second time. Among the 18 senators on the record as of early Tuesday afternoon was New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, who said in a statement that Menendez’s […]

Does Kansas City overuse jails? Commission looks for better solutions

BY: - September 26, 2023

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story inaccurately reflected the kind of assault cases that appear before the municipal court. The story was updated on Sept. 27 to reflect that violent charges can include cases where a person intentionally inflicted harm on someone else. Kansas City Municipal Judge Courtney Wachal sent a letter to […]

Biden administration to create new gun violence prevention office

BY: - September 22, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House Thursday announced the formation of an Office of Gun Violence Prevention that will help states and local governments as they implement a gun safety legislative package President Joe Biden signed into law last year. Lacking additional action in Congress to curb gun violence, “the Office of Gun Violence Prevention along […]

Kansas county scuttles talk of converting Leavenworth jail to ICE detention center

BY: - September 21, 2023

Leavenworth County officials voted unanimously Wednesday to halt discussions over whether to convert a former private federal jail into a detention center for immigration enforcement.  For years, CoreCivic, the nation’s largest private prison operator, ran a federal pretrial detention center in Leavenworth for individuals charged with — but not convicted of — federal crimes from Kansas, […]

Missourians wait an average of 8 months in jail for court-ordered mental health services

BY: - September 20, 2023

Missourians who are arrested, deemed unfit to stand trial and ordered into mental health treatment are now detained in jail for an average of eight months before being transferred to a mental health facility. And that’s “some good news,” Nora Bock, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Division of Behavioral Health, said during […]

U.S. prisons chief insists to Senate panel there’s been ‘visible change’ in the system

BY: - September 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — The head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons on Wednesday outlined to the Senate Judiciary Committee how she has sought improvements in the nation’s troubled prison system, and fielded questions from Republicans about transgender inmates. “Developing meaningful change throughout the agency is not something that happens in a moment,” Colette Peters, the director […]

Former prosecutor picked to fill Missouri Supreme Court vacancy

BY: - September 12, 2023

Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday announced Judge Kelly Broniec as his choice to fill an open seat on the Missouri Supreme Court. Broniec, 52, currently serves as chief judge of the Missouri’s Eastern District Court of Appeals in St. Louis. She will fill the vacancy left by Judge George W. Draper III, who retired earlier […]

Court reduces restrictions on Biden administration contact with social media platforms

BY: - September 8, 2023

A federal appeals court in Louisiana agreed on Friday evening with Missouri’s attorney general that the Biden administration “ran afoul of the First Amendment” by threatening social media platforms over posts spreading misinformation.  But the three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans concluded a lower court’s wide-ranging order barring […]