Elections Have Consequences

When Wesley Bell defeated the ferociously corrupt Bob McCulloch in the election for St. Louis Counting Prosecuting Attorney, basically the county DA, he promised greater accountability for law enforcement.

Well, now he has created a unit dedicated to investigating wrongful convictions and police misconduct.

I hope that this includes a review of McCulloch and his lieutenants before the statute of limitations expires as well.

I guarantee that you will find prosecutors have knowing submitted false testimony, because that’s what McCulloch did in the Michael Brown case:

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, who was elected last year on a radical reform platform, has taken a huge new step in that direction, establishing a unit to tackle wrongful conditions and abuse by the police.

The Conviction and Incident Review Unit, whose staff will report directly to Bell, will review past convictions where defendants claimed innocence as well as investigate police shootings and allegations of police misconduct.


For Bell — a former public defender, municipal judge, court prosecutor, and son of a cop — the inspiration came from those efforts as well as his personal experiences. “I’ve been practicing for 18 years,” he said in an interview with The Intercept, “and so I knew that there’s things that needed to be done differently.”

Bell campaigned on using data-driven research to reform the criminal justice system, including establishing an independent unit to review past convictions, a process that his predecessor Bob McCulloch did not have a system for. McCulloch had a reputation for being uncomfortably close with law enforcement, and the community’s distrust of him was only exacerbated following Officer Darren Wilson’s fatal August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Against the wishes of the community, protesters, and activists — including the NAACP — McCulloch declined to appoint a special prosecutor in the case of Brown’s murder. The community channeled anger with the handling of Brown’s case into organizing power that propelled Bell to victory.


The unit’s independence is crucial, said Nina Morrison, senior litigation counsel at the Innocence Project; she has represented numerous clients who have become exonerated, thanks in part to the work of conviction integrity units. 

It’s not enough to exonerate those who are innocent, you also need to prosecute people who break the law to close cases.

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