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Judge sets trial date to hear evidence in possible release of Kevin Strickland case

Kevin Strickland
Posted at 8:45 AM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 18:27:43-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The path toward possible freedom for Kevin Strickland became a little clearer Friday morning.

A Jackson County Circuit Court judge identified the first week of October - Oct. 5 and 6 - as when the court will hear evidence on whether or not to vacate Strickland's 1979 triple murder conviction.

As part of Friday's ruling, the judge rejected Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt's case to relocate the hearing to another county.

The judge argued the Jackson County is independent and qualified, so the case will remain there.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker used a new law passed in Missouri to file for the exoneration of Strickland.

He has served decades in prison for a triple-murder that many now believe Strickland is not guilty of.

Schmitt does not believe Strickland is innocent and has fought against the case.

Before the passage of Senate Bill 53, Strickland was hopeful Gov. Mike Parson would issue a pardon, but Parson said he could not be sure Strickland was innocent.