News Flash

JCPAO Press Releases

Posted on: August 12, 2020

Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker calls effort for concurrent jurisdiction political and dangerous

For Immediate Release

Aug. 12, 2020

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker issued the following statement today regarding efforts by the Missouri Governor and Attorney General to win concurrent jurisdiction in St. Louis City

This is not new.  It is not a new concept and one that local prosecutors have had to fight against for generations. The notion, called concurrent jurisdiction, was promoted by the Governor and an inexperienced Attorney General to be the trusted savior for the City of St. Louis. This time, however, it smacked of politics as the source of the inspiration, rather than the usual arrogance and overstated belief in their capacity and skills. The Attorney General wants us to believe he has some special powers where he has no trust with the community, no relationship with the police or judiciary and no relationship with the local prosecutor (since he never spoke with her). No, this suggests something else is afoot and that something else is not seeking to benefit the citizens of St. Louis City.  In fact, I believe it will hurt them. 

During my years working as an assistant prosecutor and now the elected prosecutor, I can recall other times when this issue has come up.  Each time it was soundly defeated because all locally elected prosecutors, Republicans and Democrats alike, urban, rural and suburban, banded together in order to defeat this dangerous concept.  The reason we band together is pretty simple.  Concurrent jurisdiction interjects politics into our system.  While each locally elected prosecutor must choose a political party, that is not the kind of politics that comes to play with concurrent jurisdiction.  This type of politics is personal.  It’s a political ploy revealed in St. Louis violence numbers.  St. Louis City has had 163 murders so far in 2020, however, only 44 suspects were arrested.  Kim Gardner has filed 34 of those 44 cases so far.  One should not presume that the other 10 murder cases will never be filed.  It is not uncommon for a prosecutor to ask for additional work to be done on a case in order to get to proof beyond a reasonable doubt and to be sure we are getting it right.  That’s how it works. 

The Attorney General has no special magical powers to help build more evidence for police  In fact, his powers are far diminished in a jurisdiction where he is not seen at community meetings and community members can’t call his personal cell phone. But that is what Kim Gardner currently offers her community.  I would hope that the Attorney General’s Office would offer St. Louis City support under the long-standing roles in place for over a century.  No new special law is needed.  The Attorney General simply could pick up the phone, call Ms. Gardner and ask, “how can I help you?” 

For more information, contact:

Michael Mansur

Director of Communication

Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office

Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor

Work   : (816) 881-3812

Mobile: (816) 674-3954

*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in JCPAO Press Releases

KC man charged in April 30 homicide in KC

Posted on: September 29, 2017

16-year-old KC teen charged in 2016 murder

Posted on: December 23, 2016

KC man charged in Midtown carjacking

Posted on: November 4, 2016

KC man charged in rape of 14-year-old girl

Posted on: September 15, 2016

Charges in Grandview robbery

Posted on: April 20, 2016

Guilty plea in child death case

Posted on: April 13, 2016

KC man charged in KC car chase

Posted on: April 8, 2016

Police officer’s conviction upheld

Posted on: April 5, 2016

Charges filed in fatal KC shooting

Posted on: April 1, 2016

Charges filed in Independence murder

Posted on: March 31, 2016

Independence eluding leads to charges

Posted on: March 11, 2016

Sexual assault of 15-year-old

Posted on: March 9, 2016

Charges in weekend chase, crash

Posted on: March 6, 2016

Sword-wielding man leads police on chase

Posted on: February 25, 2016

Charges in Monday shooting

Posted on: February 24, 2016

Two charged in double homicide

Posted on: February 3, 2016

Manslaughter charges filed in 2015 wreck

Posted on: January 25, 2016

One charged in KC rape

Posted on: January 22, 2016

Charges in Jan. 9 gun slaying

Posted on: January 15, 2016

Messina honored by KCMBA

Posted on: January 8, 2016

Charges in Independence murder

Posted on: January 8, 2016

Charges in Grandview hit-and-run

Posted on: December 30, 2015

Solar energy theft involved area churches

Posted on: December 16, 2015