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MO Supreme Court Considering Constitutionality of State Law About Rights of Rape Survivors

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2016 file photo, Missouri Supreme Court Judge Laura Denvir Stith, left, sits on the bench at the Missouri Supreme Court building in Jefferson City, Mo. Stith is retiring. Stith on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, said her last day will be March 8. She was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2001 by former Democratic Gov. Bob Holden. She was the second woman appointed to the state high court. (Annie Rice/Missourian via AP, File)

The Missouri Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of a state law about the rights of rape survivors. State Public Defender System Director Mary Fox and several other public defenders say part of the law violates freedom of speech rights and creates a conflict of interest. It’s the part requiring defense attorneys to remind their clients’ alleged victims of their right to have a support person present while being questioned. During a court hearing, Jeff Johnson, with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, says the law reminds survivors of their rights during questioning.

 

The high court will rule on the case at a later date.



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