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Governor Mike Parson signs new crime bill into law in Missouri

(KY3)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 8:24 PM CDT
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Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson says prosecutors from all corners of the state were in favor of a new Missouri crime bill and what it will do to protect families.

"Robberies, to home invasions, to assaults, to murders, those are things that happen right here," said Patterson.

Senate Bill 600 creates new laws related to dangerous felonies and strengthens current ones, including the crimes of conspiracy, illegal gun possession, criminal street gangs, and carjacking. It brings mandatory prison sentences for many violent offenses and makes sure certain violent criminals can't get out of prison on probation. Patterson says these are important changes for our community.

"For example, those who commit murder in the second degree will not be eligible for probation, individuals who have prior convictions for dangerous felonies who possess firearms will have enhanced sentences," said Patterson.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson says this will allow police and prosecutors to hold people accountable for their actions.

"This is a large step towards safety and justice for our community," said Governor Parson.

But Empower Missouri, an organization working to secure basic human needs and equal justice for every person in the state, is disappointed with the signing of the bill, saying that locking more people up does not improve public safety.

"We think there should be a focus on rehabilitation, on community alternative sentencing, we think addiction should be treated like a medical issue, and the people should be encouraged to enter recovery and make restitution for the harm they have done," said Jeanette Mott Oxford, Director of Policy and Organizing for Empower Missouri.

This law will go into effect starting August 28.

You can read more about the law right here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/20info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=26838053

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