New law to give local prosecutors voice in speaking up about wrongful convictions

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo– If Governor Parson signs Senate Bill 53, it will bring big changes to addressing wrongful conviction cases.

Dana Mulhauser became chief of the newly started Conviction and Incident review unit at the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in December of 2019.

Put simply, her job is to review police use of force incidents and possible wrongful convictions.

Until Senate Bill 53, Mulhauser could only do so much to address wrongful convictions. Those convicted currently have to file the legal appeal themselves, and then have the Attorney General decide if there was enough for a case. Now, local prosecutors have a voice.

“So if a prosecutor discovers that someone has been wrongfully convicted for the first time they can file a motion in the court where the person was convicted and say this is wrong,” said Mulhauser.

Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said prosecutors take an oath to ensure justice, and justice isn’t just putting people in jail it is also making sure innocent people don’t lose their freedom.

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