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Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson said Monday that addressing the clemency petition to release a man imprisoned for over 40 years who prosecutors now maintain is innocent simply isn’t “a priority.” 

“When something like that comes up, we look at those cases, but I don’t know that that necessarily makes it a priority to jump in front of the line,” Parson said during a news conference.

“We understand some cases are going to draw more attention through the media than others, but we’re just going to look at those things.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Monday that addressing the clemency petition to release an imprisoned man prosecutors now say is innocent is not a “priority.” (Photo by Jacob Moscovitch/Getty Images)

He also added that Kevin Strickland, who is now 62, had been tried “by a jury of his peers” and found guilty, but there was “a lot more information out there.” 

The governor’s office currently has a backlog of about 3,000 clemency requests, according to The Kansas City Star. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle sent Parson a letter asking for a pardon for Strickland, and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has called for his release. 

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There is currently a bill approved by the Missouri state legislature that awaits Parson’s signature, one that would give local prosecutors more power in innocence claims, allowing them to bring them before trial courts that would allow innocent prisoners to be released without waiting on the governor. 

Peters Baker said if Parson signs the bill, she will file the motion the first day it is legally allowed to get Strickland released. 

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Strickland was convicted of a Kansas City triple murder in April 1978. However, two men who pleaded guilty to the crime swore that Strickland was not with them. The only two eyewitnesses in the case have both recanted and advocated for his release. 

Strickland — who was convicted by an all-white jury, white judge and white prosecutors — has asked Parson for a full pardon, not a sentence commutation.

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”Through a full pardon, you have the power not only to correct my wrongful conviction but also to ensure that my innocence is finally recognized,” Strickland wrote.

He added that anything less “would leave an unjust and undeserved stain on my criminal record.”

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Man killed in mass shooting in Austin originally from Rockland County

AUSTIN, Texas -- The victim who died in Saturday's mass shooting in Austin was originally from the Tri-State Area.

Officials say Douglas John Kantor, 25, succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital on Sunday afternoon.

APD News Release: Victim Identified in Downtown Austin Shooting incident -

— Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police) June 13, 2021

Kantor is from Airmont, New York, but was living in Michigan.

His brother Nick released a statement Sunday saying,

Doug J Kantor originally from Airmont NY had recently been living in Michigan after completing 4 years in Michigan State in computer engineering. Soon after getting his bachelors degree he was employed with the Ford Motor Company. While continuing his education at the University of Michigan he bought his first house and received his Masters Degree in business. He motivated everyone he came in contact with, was a team player and advanced quickly in the IT department at Ford working as a product manager. He also developed a website for his brother and fathers Air Conditioning & Heating business. He was looking forward to marrying his high school sweetheart of 10 years and starting a family. He was loved by all who knew him and had an infectious smile that would light up any room. He was loved by his family, friends and everyone who met him. This senseless tragedy has put an end to all his dreams.

Kantor's cousin says that he was waiting outside a bar to get in when shots were fired, and was struck in the abdomen.

One suspect has been arrested in connection to the shooting that killed Kantor and wounded 13 others, authorities said.

Investigators continued looking for the second suspect involved on Sunday and were working to find out what led to the violence.
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One person has been arrested in connection to a shooting on 6th Street in Austin on Friday night. Travis Young, who lives right above where the shooting occurred said, "I hit the ground faster than I knew I could move."

"This does appear to be an isolated incident between the two parties," Chacon said.
Most, if not all of the victims were believed to be innocent bystanders, but investigators continued to review surveillance video of the area.
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It was a massive scene on Austin's 6th Street early Saturday with multiple people wounded. Listen as officers and medics work to find and help the victims.

The gunfire erupted just before 1:30 a.m. along 6th Street, a popular area filled with bars and restaurants.

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