Press Release (ePRNews.com) - JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Jun 13, 2017 - Missouri: ColeCounty Prosecutor Mark Richardson Accused of Unfair Treatment to African-Americans, Leaders of Religious Groups, and a Former Employee
By Joe Smith
Basketball star Lebron James has said that being black in America is tough. Perhaps that statement is symbolic of what has been happening in Jefferson City, Missouri, lately. But mistreating pastors too? What’s going on in Missouri?
Cole County prosecutor, Mark Richardson engages in charging 1st time defendant minorities with misdemeanors with the highest charge he can without regard to clean prior records, and prosecuting pastors who simply are trying to make the world a better place, opines a spokesperson for Citizens For Corporate Justice (CFCJ), one of the premier human rights advocate organizations in the country. The human rights advocacy group has had a journalist observing Missouri cases for months now in which Mark Richardson is refusing to give 1st time offender minority defendants credit for having no prior record in misdemeanor cases. CFCJ has not commented on whether or not it will take it’s findings before the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the Missouri Bar or the Missouri Attorney General.
“He [Richardson] wants to throw the book at them,” says one Jefferson City citizen. “Richardson doesn’t seem to care that they had a perfect record. He doesn’t believe in rehabilitating. I think it’s cruel and inhumane. We have to stop this at the voting booth.”
In an October 26, 2014 article in News Tribune, former employee and assistant prosecutor Anji Ghandi complained about the office operations. She indicated that she became disillusioned about the way Richardson operated things. “There were a lot of changes I wanted to make when I was there,”she said. “I worked very hard to get Mr. Richardson to institute changes as far as the way cases were filed, the way cases progressed through the system and the way people were hired.”
She said Richardson did not address her concerns.
Notably, in 2016, it was Richardson’s office that forced Missouri’s prominent religious group leaders and pastors to trial for protesting Missouri Senate Medicaid Expansion issues. Many Missouri citizens disagreed with Richardson’s ‘no mercy’ style of prosecution, as many of the pastors he prosecuted were community leaders and African-American.
Prosecutors are elected officials charged with obtaining justice. Mr. Richardson’s style suggests that he does not believe in giving credit for a spotless prior record. To him, it seems, punishment is more important than rehabilitation; however, that old west, no mercy approach has no merit under our constitution. We are a nation of laws, wherein justice always outweighs punishment.
© Citizens For Corporate Justice
Citizens for Corporate Justice