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Missouri Supreme Court: Pardoned felon can’t run for public office

SUPREME COURT MOLD
Posted at 2:35 PM, Jun 10, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Cass County man who pleaded guilty to felony assault in 1995 can’t run for office despite receiving a pardon last year from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.

On Monday, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a ruling earlier this year from the Cass County Circuit Court, who said that Herschel Young was ineligible to run for public office.

Young successfully completed three-years of probation after he pleaded guilty in 1995. More than 20 years later, Gov. Parson issued a pardon in Young’s case.

Earlier this year, Young submitted paperwork as a candidate for south district commissioner in Cass County.

Young was hoping to appear on the August primarily ballot and eventually the general election ballot in November.

But Cass County’s clerk said that a pardon “does not resolve a disqualification” under state statute.

Young and the clerk both looked to the Cass County Circuit Court to help resolve the issue. A circuit court judge ruled in favor of the clerk’s interpretation of the statute.

Young further appealed the case to Missouri’s highest court, which upheld the ruling.

Young has attempted - and succeeded - to run for public office before.

He won election in 2010 as Cass County Presiding Commissioner, but quickly found himself mired in a legal battle to remain on the commission.

Young was ousted from office in 2011 thanks to a ruling from the Cass County Circuit Court, which was upheld by the Missouri Supreme Court in 2014.

Young's 1995 felony case stemmed from punching a man who Young said had spat on his wife.