ONLY ON 41: KC police commissioner asks Missouri governor to free 'innocent' man from prison

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City police commissioner Alvin Brooks wants someone to free an ‘innocent’ man who’s serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole for a 1996 double murder.

“There’s something called a conscience, there’s something called right and wrong,” Brooks told 41 Action News.

RELATED | KC police commissioner & former prosecutor say innocent man in prison for life

Commissioner Brooks just sent a letter asking Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to release Ricky Kidd from the maximum security penitentiary in Cameron, Missouri. 

“Ricky Kidd is innocent,” Brooks said. “I would not be going to bat for someone if I didn’t know - not think, not feel - but know they’re innocent.”

Governor’s response

41 Action News asked Gov. Nixon if he will free Kidd, but his office told us they “won’t comment on an individual case.”

“Nobody wants the wrong person in prison, they want the right person in prison,” Kidd first told 41 Action News in our investigation into his case in November.

Supporters of Kidd started an online petition to try to get him released.

President can’t pardon

Many viewers on Facebook asked if President Obama could grant Kidd a pardon or reprieve, but he doesn’t have that power.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, the president has the power to pardon or change a sentence for federal crimes only, not state crimes like Kidd is convicted of.

Kidd applied for a governor’s pardon years ago but was denied, after prosecutors started fighting his appeals.

Fighting appeals

“They just refuse to follow the facts,” Kidd said.

As 41 Action News investigated, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker won’t free Kidd and neither will Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, claiming Kidd missed his chance to properly appeal.

“That’s what bothers me is, he’s exhausted all his appellate efforts, but that does not mean that you’re guilty,” said Brooks.

Evidence of real killer?

Prosecutors also argue even if he’s allowed to appeal again, Kidd should only present new evidence that was not available at the time of his trial.

“It’s mind boggling,” said Brooks. “Particularly when you know there’s still a person out there on the street that was one of the ones who pulled the trigger.”

Former prosecutor Cindy Dodge agrees evidence proves who the real killers are.

‘He is innocent’

“Ricky didn’t commit these murders,” said Dodge. “He is innocent. There’s no question in my mind. I wouldn’t be working on this and spending hundreds of hours of free time.”

Dodge took on Kidd’s case for free along with the Midwest Innocence Project which is also representing another Missouri man, Rodney Lincoln, in a similar case.

“I see Ricky as the biggest underdog I’ve ever represented,” Dodge told 41 Action News.

Final chance

Dodge and the Midwest Innocence Project are asking a judge for one final appeal -- in case the governor doesn’t free Kidd.

“If you come down on the right side, who cares? You can live with yourself,” said Brooks.

If nothing changes, Kidd will live the rest of his life behind bars.

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Patrick Fazio can be reached at patrick.fazio@kshb.com.

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