Joy Reid had a terrific summary of the case Friday evening:
Now, let me introduce you to Kevin Strickland. a 62-year-old man who has spent the majority of his life, 40 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. His conviction was built on the testimony of the one witness who later recanted. The two other men who pleaded guilty in the murders have said Strickland was not involved. They even named an alternative suspect. After reviewing the case, the Jackson County prosecutor publicly declared that Strickland was factually innocent and added, “Kevin Strickland deserves to be exonerated.”
Now, most of you at home think that i'm about to tell you that Governor Parson pardoned Kevin Strickland. Nope. Why? Parson told reporters that Strickland's circumstances didn’t necessarily make it a priority to jump in front of the line. You know who did jump in front of the line? These two numbnuts, Mark and Patricia McCloskey. They got a VIP pardon from Parson earlier this week. These barefoot, fragile snowflakes pleaded goodwill for waving weapons at peaceful protesters who dared walk past their ugly-ass house on their way to demonstrate after George Floyd's murder. I guess that was too much of an injustice for Governor Parson to stomach, a travesty. Meanwhile, an innocent Black man stays locked up.
Reid interviewed Tricia Rojo Bushnell, director of the Midwest Innocence Project, one of the lawyers handling Strickland’s case. She said the case has been “solved since 1979 and no one has done anything.” She added that the U.S. attorney and the board of police commissioners have no problem with Strickland’s release. “The prosecutor’s looked at it. Everyone has looked at it as a solved crime. We know who committed this crime and Kevin Strickland is innocent,” she said.
Well, not Parson. Reid told us that Parson claims he doesn’t know if Strickland is innocent or not. Maybe he’s been too busy thinking of excuses to pardon the white McCloskeys who, it just so happens became MAGA heroes for their crime.
Bushnell is seeking other avenues for Strickland’s release but the next hearing is in November. The fastest, most decent thing would be for Parson to pardon Strickland immediately. “At any time the governor still could pardon him and we hope he will,” Bushnell said.
But tell me again how there’s no systemic racism in our justice system.