New Missouri law may help wrongfully convicted prisoners


KANSAS CITY, Mo.– A new law could make it easier for prosecutors to release innocent prisoners.

Missouri Senate Proposition 53, signed into law by Governor Mike Parson, would allow prosecutors to go before a judge and possibly reverse convictions of those wrongly jailed.

While cases like Kevin Strickland are being highlighted, this new law could also affect Ken Middleton.

“My dad will be 77 years old on August 11th and that has confused me for 16 years. Mr. Cliff Middleton said. “It’s been a long 30 years.”

Cliff Middleton worked tirelessly to get his father out of prison and prove his innocence.

Ken’s wife Kathy Middleton died of a gunshot wound at their home in Blue Springs in 1990.

Ken was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 200 years for her death, a murder he claimed he did not commit.

“The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office has offered my father a plea to Alford. Free walk! Not a single guilty man in prison could refuse that, but my father did! “, Middleton said. “He won’t take it because he’s innocent. How much integrity does it have in it?”

In 2005, the trial judge, Edith Messina, now an adviser to Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, agreed to overturn her conviction due to the panel’s ineffectiveness, but the appeal was rejected by the Western District Court of Appeals. dismissed due to court matters.

Middleton waited another day in court and has since had someone review his case.

“We had a situation where the trial judge found Mr Middleton did not get a fair trial. That was never overturned and never challenged and based on the language in the new law, I believe Ms. Peters-Baker has a moral obligation to file this petition and let the judge decide. whether Ken Middleton deserves a new trial,” said Middleton’s attorney, Kent Gipson.

There’s something that Gipson and Middleton’s son says they’ve tried multiple times to get the case heard again, filing appeals in both state and federal courts.

Gipson said it was impossible to ask another court to review the case and undo the damages of previous attorneys.

“When you have evidence that we have and the Prosecutor’s office disregards it, is that comfortable with a lack of authority? That’s not how this justice system is supposed to work. Senate Bill 53 is here to fix such problems,” Middleton said. “I watched him grow old. He was younger than me when he went to prison. He is 43 years old. My kids have never seen their grandfather outside the prison visitation room.”

In a statement to FOX4, a spokesperson for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office said:

“We have looked at this case many times. But, as we explained to his attorney, we are always open to considering new and credible evidence, which we did not know at the time of trial.”

Middleton’s family and attorneys say they are hoping someone will do the same and hope for a second chance in court.

“The big ring is getting the prosecutor to file. I cannot apply. She has to do it. The language is very clear, if she has information that Mr Middleton may be innocent, or may have been wrongly convicted, she should file this motion,” Gipson said. “It’s very difficult to get a prosecutor to admit their office has convicted an innocent man and they have denied this for years and years.” | New Missouri law may help wrongfully convicted prisoners


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