Criminal Justice

State control of Kansas City’s police has roots in the Civil War

BY: - January 10, 2023

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon.  Kansas City is the only major city that lacks control over its own police department. The oft-stated rationale for state control is to prevent local partisan politics from interfering with the workings of the department. Champions of the unusual setup often cite the political corruption under […]

St. Louis judge in Lamar Johnson innocence case still reviewing evidence

BY: - January 5, 2023

St. Louis Judge David Mason is still reviewing Lamar Johnson’s wrongful conviction case and working toward a decision on whether or not to set aside his 1995 murder conviction, a court spokesman told The Independent Wednesday. “There’s no date set yet to issue his ruling, but he is planning to set a hearing to provide […]

Andrew Bailey officially takes over as Missouri’s new attorney general

BY: - January 3, 2023

The Missouri Attorney General’s office will operate in “unyielding pursuit of victory,” Andrew Bailey said Tuesday as he was being sworn into office.  Bailey, in a short speech before a crowd of about 150 gathered at the Missouri Supreme Court building, said he’s grateful to Gov. Mike Parson for appointing him. Speaking to reporters afterwards, […]

Alan Pratzel urged education and diversion as Missouri’s chief disciplinary counsel

BY: - December 29, 2022

Most Missourians have never heard of Alan Pratzel or the system he led for 15 years. To lawyers in Missouri, however, Pratzel was often considered the profession’s top cop.  But that’s not how he looked at his role of chief disciplinary counsel, a job focused on making sure the state’s lawyers abided by legal ethics […]

‘Emotional roller coaster’: Delays in effort to shut down Agape dishearten former students

BY: - December 28, 2022

When he read the news back in September that Missouri had moved to shut down Agape Boarding School, Allen Knoll felt a sense of vindication.  ”For me personally,” he said, “but also for current victims.”  It was over a year and a half after Knoll had traveled to Missouri from Washington state to testify in […]

Lawsuit accuses Lee Enterprises, publisher of St. Louis Post-Dispatch, of privacy violations

BY: - December 23, 2022

The Iowa-based newspaper chain Lee Enterprises is facing a potential class-action lawsuit alleging it has shared readers’ personal information with Facebook in violation of federal law. Lee publishes newspapers and other media content in 77 markets across 26 states, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court, alleges that […]

Missouri AG takes outsized role opposing prosecutors in wrongful conviction cases

BY: - December 22, 2022

St. Louis Judge David Mason was exasperated — again. “There’s so many documents here,” he said last week to Assistant Missouri Attorney General Miranda Loesch, pointing to the stack of evidence files in front of him.  “You will almost have to be saying that they’re all fake documents in order to get anywhere,” he said, […]

Independence lawyer tied to utility projects that drew FBI scrutiny indicted for tax evasion

BY: - December 22, 2022

An attorney and former elected official in Independence was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on felonies related to tax evasion.  John C. Carnes, 67, was charged with one count of tax evasion, one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the IRS and seven counts of failure to pay taxes. He appeared in the […]

Centene agrees to pay Iowa $44 million to settle Medicaid fraud claims

BY: - December 21, 2022

Missouri-based Centene Corp. has agreed to pay Iowa $44.4 million to settle claims that it defrauded the state’s Medicaid system. That makes it the latest state to settle claims that were originally raised in Ohio in 2021. Centene, the nation’s largest Medicaid managed-care company, agreed to pay the money over claims that its subsidiary, Iowa […]

Oath Keepers founder testifies his group was acting in ‘counter-revolution’

BY: - December 21, 2022

Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, testified to an Alaskan judge on Tuesday that efforts to postpone the certification of the 2020 presidential election were a “counter-revolution,” not an insurrection. “My perspective is that we’re preserving the Constitution, and it’s — I wouldn’t even call it insurrection, I would call it a counter-revolution against […]

Botched executions reached ‘astonishing’ high in 2022, report finds

BY: - December 20, 2022

Two death row prisoners were exonerated in 2022 as society’s ultimate sanction became more geographically isolated, with only a handful of states carrying out executions in the last year, according to a new report. The number of botched executions also reached an “astonishing” level, according to the research by the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington […]

U.S. House Jan. 6 panel refers Trump for criminal charges, including inciting insurrection

BY: - December 19, 2022

The U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in a historic vote agreed unanimously Monday to refer former President Donald Trump and others to the Justice Department for potential criminal charges, including inciting or aiding an insurrection. Trump associates, including attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro and White House Chief […]