Prosecutors, legal scholars back appeal in murder case
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.