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

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“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 courts crippled by the pandemic, the justice system cleared fewer than 2,000 cases, suspects pleaded guilty in 1,100 and Gardner a 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.



Susan McGraugh, a law professor and defense lawyer at the University of St. Louis, said Gardner’s handling of the office’s criminal record had kept cases from moving forward.

“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 put defendants, judges and the public at a disadvantage.


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