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KC Freedom Project rallies outside MO attorney general's office

Dozens advocate for wrongfully convicted
KC Freedom Project rally
Posted at 4:58 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 19:20:05-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The KC Freedom Project organized a rally Monday outside the Missouri attorney general's office.

More than a dozen people gathered to stand up for loved ones they say have been wrongfully convicted.

"How many times in Missouri do you have to prove your innocence? How many times? We've already done it once," Cliff Middleton, who believes his father is wrongfully imprisoned, said.

After spending 40 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, Kevin Strickland was released earlier this month, giving the ongoing push for change in Missouri some added momentum.

"The justice system here in the state of Missouri is greatly failing the Missourians when it comes to how these wrongful convictions are being addressed," Latahra Smith, the KC Freedom Project director, said.

Smith told KSHB 41 News that she wants Attorney General Eric Schmitt to do more to look into cases she believes resulted in wrongful convictions.

"It's not right and we need you to do what's right. We need you to uphold your ethical duties as the Missouri attorney general, to seek justice in these cases and stop defending these prior convictions because that is not the position that your office should take," Smith said.

Middleton said his father, Ken Middleton, has been in prison since 1991 for a crime he did not commit. Monday's rally added to the list of actions Middleton has taken to help his father.

"When you have a justice system that puts more emphasis on procedures and technicalities than innocence, something's seriously wrong. Innocence should always matter," Middleton said.

People from the Kansas City metro area as well as the St. Louis area showed their support at the rally.