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The Armed Offender Docket’s Next Battleground: The Mo. Legislature

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St. Louis Circuit Court (KMOX/file photo)

St. Louis Circuit Court (KMOX/file photo)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Now that St. Louis judges have shot down plans for an armed offender docket, St. Louis city officials are hoping for better success in the Missouri Legislature.

On Monday, St. Louis Circuit Court judges voted against the proposal which would have created a special court for prosecuting gun-related crimes.

It’s a plan local leaders have touted for awhile as a way to more efficiently prosecute and punish criminals who use guns.

“We think that reform will happen, we know it will happen, because the public is insisting that it happen,” Maggie Crane, spokesperson for Mayor Francis Slay, said outside the courthouse Monday. “So we don’t need judges’ permission to move forward or to hold them accountable.”

Mayor Slay, Police Chief Sam Dotson, and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce say that suspects using guns wait too long to see a judge and then receive sentences which are often times too light. The trio traveled to Jefferson City in February to make their case before lawmakers and Crane says they will return early next year.

While the judges shot down the armed offender plan, they did decide Monday to move gun-related cases to the top of dockets.

The armed offender docket is also a major talking point this week at the Missouri Attorney General’s Urban Crime Summit in Kansas City.

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