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Thu Sep 17, 2020, 07:39 PM

Gov. Mike Parson Loses Latest Challenge to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's election-year maneuver to blame St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner for the city's homicide numbers and hand off certain murder cases to the state attorney general died today in the House of Representatives.

The House closed the veto session today without even taking up legislation for "concurrent jurisdiction" that would have stripped Gardner of some of her decision-making power as a prosecutor.

Parson had pushed a handful of measures on state legislators for a special session, claiming they would combat violent crime. That originally included changes that would have provided a new path for charging as adults kids as young as twelve, repealing a St. Louis rule that required cops to live in the city for their first seven years, bump up penalties for selling guns to juveniles and create a witness protection fund.

He later tacked on a measure that would have let Attorney General Eric Schmitt take over murder cases that Gardner hadn't charged within 90 days or that had been charged and dismissed. As justification, Parson and Schmitt blamed Gardner for what they claimed was a backlog of murder cases. However, as we reported in an August 26 cover story, the vast majority of open murder cases are open because police hadn't arrested anyone, not because of anything Gardner was or wasn't doing.


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