Vindication? McCloskeys forgiven as Gardner goes into scandals – HotAir
Mike Parson kept his promise to make Kim Gardner’s job moot at the McCloskeys. Late yesterday, the Governor of Missouri full pardons announced For both Mark and Patricia McCloskey on charges related to a confrontation with protesters on the edge of their property:
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that he kept his promise to pardon a couple who gained notoriety for pointing guns at social justice protesters as they marched in front of the couple’s home in an upscale St. Louis last year.
Parson, a Republican, pardoned Mark McCloskey, who pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor assault in the fourth degree and was fined $ 750, and Patricia McCloskey, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of stalking and received a $ 2,000 fine.
Even at the time of his statement, the McCloskeys remained defiant. They declared after the hearing that they would have done it again in the same circumstances, and their lawyer claimed the claim on their behalf on that basis:
“Mark McCloskey has publicly stated that if he were involved in the same situation, he would have exactly the same conduct,” McCloskeys attorney Joel Schwartz said Tuesday. “He believes that forgiveness vindicates that behavior.”
Hopefully not the exactly same behavior. His discipline in handling firearms left something to be desired, and it is still debatable whether protesters ever made it to his property. Patricia McCloskey later claimed that her pistol was unloaded, which, if true, would have meant that she potentially escalated the situation without any actual means of self-defense.
However, one need not refrain from criticizing these points while maintaining that the Gardner prosecution was a politicized sham and that the McCloskeys should never have been charged under the circumstances, much less serious crimes. Parson understood immediately, so he vowed to forgive them if Gardner persisted. After the settlement with the prosecution, Parson could have abandoned him, but he did the right thing to keep his word.
And what about Gardner? His court-wide press on the McCloskeys stands in stark contrast to the incompetent negligence Gardner has had in at least one murder case. Fox News reported last night that negligence goes way beyond that:
St. Louis Circuit District Attorney Kim Gardner was already under fire after three murder cases collapsed during her tenure and records show that the turnover of prosecutors in her office is greater than 100%.
Now, records show that his office has been eliminating felony cases at a rate more than double the years before he took office.
Records from the clerk of the 22nd Judicial Circuit in Missouri show that before Gardner took office, the percentage of cases listed as Nolle Prosequi, or no prosecution, averaged 13.5% as of 2008. The lowest was in 2013, when only 9.8% of cases were dropped. The highest was 15.5% in 2015.
Gardner assumed the position of circuit prosecutor in January 2017. The jump in non-prosecution was first seen in 2018: 22.6%. The following year it reached 31.5%. Last year, 35.8% of the cases had been dropped and as of July of this year, 34.4% of the felony cases charged in St. Louis were dismissed.
That more than doubled Nolle Prosequi’s average case rate from 13.56% to 27.84%.
Gardner has also started punish death penalty cases to the Attorney General’s office, alleging a “conflict of interest.” KSDK also notes the layoff rate and how it differs from surrounding jurisdictions:
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has asked the Missouri attorney general to prosecute three high-profile death penalty cases, a move that comes amid mounting criticism of the way her office is handling the cases. …
Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley wrote in court documents that Gardner’s office has a potential conflict of interest in the cases, but the documents are sealed. Therefore, it is not clear what the possible conflict is. …
The I-Team also found that the number of cases that have been dismissed during Gardner’s tenure continues to grow and is nearly double the dismissal rate in surrounding jurisdictions, according to the National Center for State Courts.
The organization shows that 33% of felony cases filed in St. Louis City Circuit Court are dismissed. In St. Louis County, 15% of cases are dismissed. In Jefferson County, it is 14%. Seventeen percent of cases in St. Charles County are dismissed.
The implication here is clear: Gardner is only interested in prosecuting cases that she can highlight in her election campaigns. Having a third of the cases brought by their own office shows that either the Gardner team is incompetent to discern the charges from the indictments or that they are not very keen on enforcing the law, except when the names of the defendants rhyme with Schmischloskey.
The city of St. Louis chose Gardner, so they have to figure out how to get rid of their aggressively incompetent and negligent chief prosecutor. Maybe next time, they’ll take that position more seriously at election time.