Friday, March 15, 2013

St. Louis Gun Docket: Can the Courts Do a Better Job of Prosecuting Weapons Offenses?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:12 AM

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This kind of proposal could be coupled with stricter prosecutions as well -- such as higher thresholds for bail or more immediate consequences, he says.

Sam Dotson, the new police chief in St. Louis, has called for stricter gun control and harsher prosecutions and Mayor Francis Slay has been interested in this kind of reform.

Police Chief Sam Dotson - VIA FACEBOOK

Currently, there is no specific docket for gun crimes.

"Any number of judges could be assigned to one of these cases," Schmitt explains. "If there are two judges assigned...they'll have more of a history.... It allows them to put all of these issues into a greater context."

His legislation is focused on St. Louis, but Schmitt says he has talked to other prosecutors in the state who are interested.

He hopes that his proposal, which had a second read in committee this week, doesn't get caught up in the partisan fighting that has been typical of Missouri gun debates this year.

"It's not a partisan issue," he argues. "This one makes a lot of sense. It's something that people can get behind to really find some solutions within the current structures of the law."

Here's the full draft proposal.

SB 448

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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