Chief Justice Delivers State of the Judiciary Address

Missouri Supreme Court

Citing that history is the tie that binds, Chief Justice George Draper III began his State of the Judiciary address Wednesday with a bit of his own history as well as that of the court, which will celebrate its bicentennial this year. He spoke about the changes to the court over the past two centuries, including the addition of women and African-American justices on the court.

Judge Draper thanked legislators for changes made in treatment courts, including standardizing the way treatment courts operate and creating consistency for treatment court participants. He was particularly pleased with the 15 treatment courts serving the special needs of veterans in 40 counties, noting that 401 veterans were now regaining their lives while reducing crime and improving public safety.

His address included compliments to the legislature on changes made last year to promote criminal justice reform, including expanding crimes that could be expunged, changing rules governing misdemeanor and felony criminal procedures, as well as rules governing ordinance violations. He urged the legislature to sufficiently fund and staff the public defender system, noting that failing to do so risks leaving the guilty on the street and victims powerless to find closure or move forward with their lives.

January 24, 2020 - 11:59am
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