Crime bill in Missouri has harsh penalties

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2020 | Criminal Law |

Governor Mike Parson recently signed Senate Bill 600, which is an omnibus crime bill. While proponents of the bill claim it will make the streets of the state safer and provide protections for citizens, opponents note that the bill won’t reduce crimes and will only lead to more people being sentenced to prison without addressing some of the more pressing matters related to crimes.

One major change that the bill makes is that people can now face criminal charges for conspiracy. Prior to the bill’s passing, a person couldn’t be convicted because of a conspiracy to commit a crime unless they committed an act that was criminal. Under the new bill, prosecutors can charge a person who agrees to commit a criminal act.

The bill also adds mandatory sentences for certain criminal convictions. It also takes away the possibility of probation for certain convictions. One act that is covered is the commission of a crime using a firearm for a person who is unlawfully in possession of that firearm.

It is widely accepted that criminal justice reform is important; however, opponents of the bill worry that the governor signing this bill was the wrong thing to do. Many are concerned that this will increase the inequities in the state and that this could lead to unrest as people begin notice those.

Proponents of the bill are quick to remind everyone that these measures make it easier for police officers to try to get gang members off the streets. They also claim that they will increase police officer safety.

For individuals in the criminal justice system, learning about this bill and how it might impact their criminal case is important. They can work with their attorney to learn their options.