ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Anger is rising at St. Louis City Hall as politicians blame the wave of recent shootings and killings, in part, on soft-hearted judges.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and the Board of Aldermen are calling on local judges to hand down tougher sentences for gun crimes.
Mayor Slay says judges have to get tougher across the board on gun crimes.
“They’re not sending a strong enough message,” Slay says. “Some of the judges aren’t sending a strong enough message to law-abiding citizens that we care about you and your neighborhoods and we want to keep you safe as well.”
South St. Louis Alderwoman Carol Howard says the recent shooting death of a Bosnian store clerk at Chippewa and Alfred was in her ward. She says the suspect had too many probations and early releases leading up to the killing.
“He should have been in jail,” Howard says. “He should have never been able to be let out.”
Among the 18 people shot on June 18, a man was shot outside the home of south St. Louis Alderwoman Jennifer Florida.
“According to my son, these people were laughing in the van like it was some kind of big joke,” she says.
Florida says City Circuit Court judges are too forgiving when gun criminals show up in front of them for sentencing.
“It seems to me that you can get probation five times, at least in the city, and then the hammer drops and you go away for a long time,” she says. “So, I’m not a big proponent of probation anymore.”
The recent shooting that took place at the Seven Elevan at Gravois and Bates that took the life of an immigrant store clerk was in Alderman Fred Wessels’ ward.
“I think we’ve got criminals running the streets in the city, the county, the whole region who ought to be in jail and they’re not in jail because of lenient judges,” Wessels says.