Prosecutorial Malfeasance

Once again, to no surprise of this critically-thinking Newsdog, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has failed to keep citizens safe. 

On Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, Jahron Swift, 29, a “frequent flyer” with the justice system, opened fire at a bar near 40 Highway and Noland Road, injuring 15 people and killing Raeven Parks, 25. 

One local TV station broadcast footage of Peters Baker on the scene of the shooting, almost in tears, lamenting how something like this could ever happen.

Peters Baker pushed the blame for known felon, Jahron Swift, off on the NRA and Missouri gun laws instead of accepting the responsibility of her own actions that included letting Swift walk free on weapons and drug charges instead of sending him up the river where he belonged.

Nevermind that Swift shouldn’t have been out of custody, much less possess a firearm given his frequent arrests for felony drug and weapons possessions.

As this Dog pointed out in an award-winning, April 2017 editorial entitled (18 U.S.C. § 922[g][1-9]), the county prosecutor has failed to use the federal laws in her toolbox to keep dangerous criminals in jail, habitually letting them walk free.

The shooter in this particular case is no exception. 

After a 2015 traffic stop in which he was caught with drugs, a large sum of cash, and a .45 caliber handgun, he was charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon. 

A permitless carry law wouldn’t have impacted his weapons charge as he was in possession of both a weapon and a felony-level controlled substance.

Then, in 2016 and 2017, Swift was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, one charge in each year respectively. 

The 2017 charge was for unlawful conceal and carry. The 2016 charge would have automatically revoked his probation from the 2015 weapons charge, in theory automatically sending Swift up-river for five years if federal sentencing guidelines were followed.

They weren’t.

Instead, Swift drew another slap-on-the-wrist probation sentence from the Prosecutor and was told not to possess a gun or be near a gun.

Picture your grandmother wagging her finger at you, telling you not to pull your sister’s pigtails and you get the general idea of the severity of the punishment.

Peters Baker dropped Swift’s 2017 weapons charges in anticipation of the permitless carry legislation that would nullify the charge. 

Let that sink in for a moment. We’re told over and over by court officials that charges cannot be brought against people in anticipation of a crime, but Peters Baker dropped charges anticipating the passage of legislation that was not yet law.

Once again, epic prosecutorial fail by the top law enforcement official in the county and this time the consequences are tragic. 

Not the first time and the Dog is certain it won’t be the last. 

An innocent life was snuffed out and dozens of other innocent people were injured at the hands of a career criminal who should have been in prison had the County Prosecutor done her job properly.

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