Missouri Governor Mike Parson is apparently trying to give Governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott a run for their money as being the most heartless Trump stooges tyrannically running a state. As Rachel Maddow has reported repeatedly, Parson has been dragging his feet about releasing Kevin Strickland, a black man wrongfully convicted of a triple murder at only 18, now 62 and in a wheelchair after two heart attacks and being imprisoned 43 years.
Despite public outcry for Strickland’s release, including prominent Republicans, back in early June, Parson claimed it would not be “fair” for Strickland’s clemency application to jump ahead of the line, pointing out Strickland was convicted by a jury as if it were news. (Yes, Parson — that’s what usually happens when you’re wrongfully convicted.) Parson pardoned 36 people on Memorial day, most of whom were already out of prison — “a day late and a dollar short” is his motto.
On the Wednesday after claiming Strickland was not a “priority” in his busy schedule, he attended a cattle show in Springfield. He later attended a ribbon cutting for a Frozen Foods Express in Butler he was “excited about.” He proclaimed June “Dairy Month” and spent a particularly busy work-day afternoon at Professional Registration’s employee appreciation BBQ where he “had a blast.” Yet despite his heavy schedule, he announced that if gun-waving Mark and Patricia McCloskey were convicted, he would pardon them “immediately.”
The McCloskey’s are the couple who claimed peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors were an “angry mob who came to destroy his house and kill his family”, but were nevertheless arrested for pulling guns on them. McCloskey is now touting his brave confrontation against an imaginary liberal mob as reason enough to be a US Senator.
After public backlash, Parson now claims he’s not even convinced Strickland is innocent, despite the Jackson County Prosecutor indicating this is a travesty of justice and Strickland should be released immediately. I can respect the fact that the “show-me” state requires proof, but what else does Parson want? Strickland had a confirmed alibi, two men who pled guilty to the killings have sworn Strickland was innocent for decades, and the lone eye witness at his trial before an all-white jury recanted in 2009. Conversely, Parson requires no proof whatsoever that caucasian McCloskey was a victim of an angry Black Lives Matter mob. You get the picture.
Curious to see what Josh Hawley’s position was on all this, my google search produced an advertisement that he needs money to fight “Joe Biden and his liberal mob.”