Saturday, June 5, 2021

Kevin Strickland: Missouri: (Flawed eye-witness identification); An innocent man wrongfully in prison for 40 years; Prosecutors say he's innocent. They want him freed. State governor (Parson) is standing in their way. Momentum mounts as State Rep.Andrew McDaniel, the veteran Missouri lawmaker who chairs the House Corrections and Public Institutions Committee adds his voice - calls on Governor Parson to grant immediate release to the inmate who prosecutors say was wrongly convicted of murder 40 years ago.


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: (False eye-witness identification): This Blog is interested in  false eye-witness identification issues because  wrongful identifications are at the heart of so many DNA-related exonerations in the USA and elsewhere - and because so much scientific research is being conducted with a goal to making the identification process more   transparent and reliable- and less subject to deliberate manipulation.  I have also reported far too many cases over the years - mainly cases lacking DNA evidence (or other forensic evidence pointing to the suspect - where the identification is erroneous - in spite of witness’s certainty that it is true - or where  the police have somehow  rigged the identification process in order to make a desired  identification inevitable. 
Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.

BACKGROUND: "The case against Strickland, who was 18 when he was arrested, was “thin from its inception” and relied almost entirely on the testimony of a traumatized woman who was shot during the murders, prosecutors now say. They began reviewing Strickland’s conviction in November after speaking with his lawyers and reviewing a Star investigation into his innocence claimFor decades, two men who pleaded guilty in the April 25, 1978, murders at 6934 S. Benton Ave. swore Strickland was not with them and two other accomplices during the shooting. The lone eyewitness also recanted and wanted Strickland released. A third suspect, who was never charged, said in 2019 that he knew there “couldn’t be a more innocent person than” Strickland, according to a Midwest Innocence Project investigator."
“M.O. Supreme Court declines to hear Kevin Strickland’s case. Prosecutors say he’s innocent,” by Reporter Luke Nozicka, published by The Kansas City Star on June 1, 2021. 


STORY: "Missouri House Corrections Chair: Kevin Strickland should be released from prison immediately," by Reporter Brian Hauswirth, Published by 'Missouriline' on June 4, 2021,

GIST: "A veteran Missouri lawmaker who chairs the House Corrections and Public Institutions Committee is calling on Governor Parson to grant an immediate release to an inmate who prosecutors say was wrongly convicted of murder 40 years ago.

State Rep. Andrew McDaniel (R-Deering) tweeted that the first time he heard about Kevin Strickland’s case was Thursday night, on the news. Chairman McDaniel, a former Pemiscot County deputy sheriff, will send a letter to the governor, and lawmakers in both parties plan to sign it.

The “Kansas City Star” reports Jackson County prosecutors, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and others have called for Strickland’s exoneration and release. They say Strickland has spent four decades in prison for a triple murder he did not commit. The murders happened in Kansas City in 1978.

The newspaper also reports that Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker says that if all else fails, she will file a motion on August 28 in northwest Missouri’s DeKalb County, asking a judge to order Strickland’s release.

Strickland is incarcerated at the Western Missouri Correctional Center (WMCC) in Cameron, which is in DeKalb County. He’s serving a life sentence without parole for 50 years, for capital murder. Capital murder is an old statute that hasn’t been used in Missouri for years. Strickland has also been serving time for second degree murder, in the case.

The Missouri Department of Corrections’ (DOC) website says Strickland will turn 62 on Monday.

A comprehensive law enforcement bill is on the governor’s desk, which includes a provision when prosecutors believe a prisoner is innocent. If Governor Parson signs the bipartisan bill, it would take effect on August 28.

“If Mr. Strickland remains incarcerated, on August 28 at 9 am, I will file my own motion with a court in my jurisdiction to free him. I pray that action is not needed but I stand ready to act. Of course, I need the Governor to sign the legislation fully authorizing me to take that action. Mr. Strickland deserves actors who will fight for him,” Prosecutor Peters Baker tells Missourinet.

The Missouri Supreme Court has declined to hear Strickland’s case."

The entire story can be read at:

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic"  section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:  Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;
FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
FINAL, FINAL WORD: "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;