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Prosecutors, legal scholars back appeal in murder case

Cody Gregg was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week after he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, according to court records.

ST. LOUIS – Dozens of legal ethics scholars and prosecutors have joined an effort get a new trial for a man serving a life sentence for murder in Missouri.

A brief filed last week by 106 scholars, including law professors from Stanford and Harvard, supports St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner’s effort to get a new trial for Lamar Johnson, who was convicted in a 1994 murder related to a drug dispute. Thirty-four prosecutors also filed a brief in support of the effort to get Johnson a new trial.

Gardner alleges that misconduct by police and a former St. Louis prosecutor led to Johnson’s conviction. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Hogan ruled in August that Gardener’s claims are inconclusive and she doesn’t have the authority to grant Johnson a new trial. Johnson appealed Hogan’s ruling.

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