NewsLocal News


Kevin Strickland defense team files petition to overturn murder conviction

jaxco wrongful conviction presser.jpeg
Posted at 8:06 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 21:06:59-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kevin Strickland entered prison as a convicted triple killer 43 years ago.

The legal system failed Strickland and cost him nearly his entire adult life, supporters said.

But prosecutors, defense attorneys and others are now convinced Strickland was never a murderer.

His defense team, which includes attorneys and investigators from the Midwest Innocence Project, filed a petition Monday asking the Missouri Supreme Court to overturn his conviction.

They argue there is good cause for the Missouri Supreme Court to rule on his innocence, according to Tricia Rojo Bushnell, executive director of the Midwest Innocence Project.

Judges in the lower courts in Missouri have consistently ruled that only the state Supreme Court can decide whether innocence is a reason to be released in cases that don't involve a death sentence.

But the court system isn't the only way Strickland can get his freedom. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson can commute Strickland's prison sentence or pardon him, Bushnell said.

A commutation would mean Strickland would get out of prison with time served.

A pardon means his conviction would be overturned.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Strickland is innocent and would drop all charges.

It's unknown at this time if Parson will get involved in the case or how long the Missouri Supreme Court will take to make its decision.