Procedural Hearing Set For Missouri Man Seeking Exoneration

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A hearing about procedural issues is scheduled for Friday in the case of a Kansas City man who is seeking to be exonerated in a triple murder committed more than 40 years ago.

Judge James Welsh scheduled the hearing Wednesday during his first case management conference after being assigned the case of Kevin Strickland. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker announced in May that new evidence indicated that Strickland did not commit the murders.

The purpose of Friday’s hearing is to determine what evidence can be admitted during a future hearing that will determine if Strickland should be freed. Welsh also will rule on the role the attorney general should play in the case.

Arguments in the case had been expected to begin this week. But last week, the Missouri Supreme Court prohibited all judges from the 16th Judicial District, based in Jackson County, from presiding over the hearing.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt had argued that judges from the district were biased in favor of Strickland. He cited a letter from the circuit’s presiding judge that said he agrees that Strickland was wrongfully convicted.

Welsh, a retired judge, was then assigned to the case.

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This story was first published on Oct. 6, 2021. It was updated on Oct. 7, 2021 to correct the day that a case management conference happened. It was conducted Wednesday, not Tuesday.