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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Kevin Strickland: 'I don't know whether he’s innocent or not'

Parson says Strickland could soon appeal
Kevin Strickland
Posted at 6:09 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 19:45:24-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In recent months there have been calls for Kevin Strickland, a man who's been in prison for 43 years after being wrongly convicted in a triple murder, to be released.

In early June, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson released his pardon list and Strickland didn't make the cut.

41 Action News sat down with Parson on Wednesday to ask him about the possibility of Strickland's release.

Parson said he wasn't 100% convinced that Strickland is innocent.

"It's pretty easy on the outside to say 'Hey, he's innocent,'" Parson said. "I don't know whether he’s innocent or not. I don’t. Other than the facts I read, and then you have to determine 'Yes, this is something we should look at.' We did, in great lengths."

In May, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker joined members from the Midwest Innocence Project and Strickland's attorney to present new evidence in the case.

On Aug. 25, 1978, three people were killed in a shooting and Strickland was convicted in that case.


Since then, a co-defendant in the case described the events of the shooting and named other individuals involved, none of whom were Strickland.

Though he wasn't fully convinced of Strickland's innocence, Parson said there could be an opportunity for Strickland to appeal the conviction through new legislation.

"The other thing we also realize is there’s legislation coming that's going to affect that case," Parson said. "And we're going to more than likely sign that into law. I won’t say that for sure because I’m always hesitant until it goes through the process."

If it is signed into law, Parson said it would give Strickland an avenue to appeal in August.