MO House Is Venue For Flurry Of Criminal Reform Bills

In Drug Crimes by RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Thursday, February 21, 2019.

The Missouri House of Representatives in Jefferson City is the place to be presently for individuals interested in hearing about and debating criminal justice reforms.

This year is unquestionably going to see legislative sessions prominently marked by promotion and energized discussion of many would-be laws avidly endorsed by sponsors who say the time is ripe for change.

Meaningful change, that is. As in a bail-reform bill that will seriously address the relative inequity visited upon lower-income defendants who present no risks yet are simply too cash poor to get out of jail.

House Bill 666 would change that. One supportive legislator says that purposeful new law would help minimize “negative cascading effects” that come with inability to make bail for many defendants. Those include things like job loss or children being shunted off to foster care.

At least half a dozen additional bills were also introduced and promoted recently, being authored and endorsed by Democratic legislators. Those lawmakers are optimistic concerning enactment, pointing to what they say is strong bipartisan support for change these days.

One of those pieces of legislation would loosen somewhat the state’s restrictions on the voting rights of convicted offenders who have served jail or prison terms. Another seeks to grant a blanket expungement of criminal records going back a generation for offenders convicted of possessing less than 35 grams of marijuana. Still another would better protect the right of juveniles to legal counsel.

Hope reasonably attaches to a positive outcome for many suggested reforms, owing to the above-stressed bipartisan climate pushing for meaningful change these days in the justice system. We will keep readers duly informed of any material developments that occur.