Schmitt Appeals Ruling on Judges in Kevin Strickland Case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday asked a state appeals court to intervene in the case of a Kansas City man who Jackson County prosecutors have said was wrongfully convicted of a triple murder more than 40 years ago.

Last week, Judge Kevin Harrell denied a motion from Schmitt’s office asking that he and other Jackson County judges be removed from presiding over a hearing that would determine if Kevin Strickland will be exonerated of the 1998 murders in Kansas City.

In Wednesday’s motion, Schmitt is asking the appeals court to remove the judges and move the hearing out of Jackson County, KCTV reported.

Schmitt, who has said he believes Strickland is guilty, has argued that judges in the 16th Circuit Court have shown bias in Strickland’s favor.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced in May that she and other legal and political leaders believe Strickland is innocent. She said two men who admitted guilt in the shootings have said Strickland wasn’t with them, and the only witness who identified him as the killer recanted her statement before she died.

Peters Baker used a new law that took effect in August to petition for a hearing during which she would argue Strickland should be exonerated.