Saturday, September 14, 2019
TKC BREAKING NEWS!!! CITY HALL CREATING 'KANSAS CITY INNOCENCE COMMISSION' TO PUSH BACK AGAINST PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX AMID DEADLY 2019 CRIME WAVE!!!
Despite a record breaking week for KCMO homicides, the quest for social justice persists as Mayor & City Council are soon to consider more checks & balances against police.
To wit . . .
THE KANSAS CITY INNOCENCE COMMISSION CHALLENGES THE JUSTICE SYSTEM STATUS QUO AND WORKS TO SET INNOCENT PEOPLE FREE!!!
These are noble goals even if the timing is horrible as chaos rules local streets.
Take a look at what this newly devised commission hopes to accomplish . . .
The commission shall:
(1) Analyze the circumstances of innocent persons being charged, prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated in municipal court.
(2) Advise the city manager concerning the causes and factors associated with such wrongful convictions;
(3) Consider and recommend reforms to any investigative, prosecutorial, judicial, and other processes;
(4) Make proposals on reducing the likelihood that innocent persons are convicted of ordinance violations
(5) The commission shall evaluate current practices and make appropriate recommendations in the following areas:
a. Eyewitness identification processes;
b. Videotaping custodial and other questioning of suspects and witnesses;
c. Use of informants', cooperating individuals', and inmates' testimony;
d. Use of witnesses with questionable credibility;
e. Timely and full compliance with the responsibility to make exculpatory information available to a defendant and his or her counsel;
f. Independent, impartial, and scientifically reliable forensic laboratory operations;
g. Payment of counsel for the defense, for investigative services, and other trial costs;
h. Any other factors or areas that may be brought to the attention of the commission that relates to the concern of the wrongful convictions of innocent persons; and
i. Oversight and disciplinary structures for evaluating allegations of prosecutorial, defense, and judicial misconduct in municipal court proceedings.
Let's be fair, 3rd District Councilman Brandon Ellington has sponsored this ordinance in an effort to listen to his district and their frustrations. Moreover, there's a progressive push to challenge the tactics and systemic dysfunction of an overcrowded U.S. prison system. The Midwest Innocence Project regularly earns high praise from politicos on both sides of the isle for their work in freeing wrongly convicted inmates in KCMO and across the nation.
But again, the timing is unfortunate. Public outcry for police to reestablish order in the more violent parts of town sadly drowns out more thoughtful considerations of liberty and equitable practices for our justice system.
Even more interestingly, there are quite a few longstanding arguments which merit consideration regarding local street violence as an expression of outrage against inequality and unfairness in American society. At its core, this effort might (or might not) alleviate KCMO community tension and demonstrate a commitment toward local government fairness so that all residents are more invested in the fate of their communities and thereby refrain from violence. That would be nice and should make readers feel all warm & fuzzy.
The fact is . . .
Kansas City has become exceptionally bloody in 2019 and so far solutions crafted at 12th & Oak have addressed a myriad of concerns except one: Continued outcry from residents to PUT MORE POLICE OFFICERS ON THE STREET and lock up violent criminals.
None of this is to say that social justice won't help alleviate local violence even if residents confronting the constant sound of nearby gunfire have more pressing concerns.
Developing . . .