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9 Months After Second Term Begins, St. Louis Attorney Cannot Keep Lawyers On Staff | Law and order


“In the past five years, since this office was refurbished, there has been no relationship between police and prosecutors,” he said. “It almost seems more confrontational – from prosecutor to police officer – than it ever has been.”

“The trials can not go”

Gardner’s office claims a felony conviction rate of over 90%, but declined to explain its calculation. Circuit court data, however, paints a different picture: in 2019, the year before pandemic courts were brought to a standstill, the court system cleared fewer than 2,000 cases, suspects pleaded guilty in 1,100, and Gardner pleaded guilty to 1,100. abandoned 600 cases.

By comparison, in 2016, Joyce’s last year, almost 3,000 cases were cleared, with 2,300 guilty pleas and only 400 cases abandoned.

University of St. Louis law professor and defense lawyer Susan McGraugh said Gardner’s handling of the office’s criminal record had impeded the progress of cases.

“There’s no getting around the fact that they’re not doing the job on their own,” said McGraugh, who previously backed Gardner. “It stops everything. We have seen that trials cannot take place, pleas cannot take place and preliminary hearings cannot take place due to the inability of the district attorney to properly manage their workload.

McGraugh said the loss of experienced prosecutors puts defendants, judges and the public at a disadvantage.