JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State representatives zeroed in on the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office Monday, where thousands of cases have yet to be prosecuted.
The legislation up for discussion is to decide when the governor should be allowed to appoint a special prosecutor. Originally, the bill was heard in a House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee last Thursday targeted the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office. During the hearing, members discussed potential changes to determine when the governor should be allowed to appoint a special prosecutor.
No one from the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office was present at Thursday’s hearing, but during a second hearing Monday, representatives from Kim Gardner’s office tested in opposition.
“Our violent crime unit is being able to handle successfully, and our recent verdicts attest to that as much,” chief warrant officer for the circuit attorney’s office Chris Hinckley told the committee. “There is no reason to ask for help in that area.”
It’s a plan by Rep. Lane Roberts (R-Joplin) to address crime. The proposal is to allow special prosecutors to be appointed by the governor for every 35 homicides per 100,000 people.
“Now, the state envisions, if I’m correct, superseding us as citizens and saying, ‘Don’t worry about who you voted for, we’re going to take over,’” Reddit Hudson, a former St. Louis police officer and diversion specialist for Gardner’s office, said. “We have a person who has been elected, with the processes in place, constitutionally and legally, to do the job.”
Roberts said some bipartisan lawmakers spoke with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner via conference call last year to talk about the thousands of unprosecuted cases in the City of St. Louis.
“We discussed how we could go about helping the