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Why can the governor pardon people, anyway?

After former Kansas City Police officer Eric DeValkanaere was convicted of killing unarmed Black man Cameron Lamb, there's been speculation — and protest — about his potential pardon by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.

In 2021, former Kansas City Police officer Eric DeValkenaere was convicted of killing Cameron Lamb, an unarmed Black man who was sitting in his own pickup in his own driveway. DeValkenaere is appealing his conviction, and in an extraordinarily unusual development, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has joined the case to urge an appeals court to overturn the conviction. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker is now arguing in court that the conviction should be upheld.

To discuss the case, host Brian Ellison spoke with University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor Sean O’Brien, who was once the chief public defender in Kansas City and has run legal defense clinics for decades about where the idea came from that a governor should be able to pardon people convicted of crimes.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Brian Ellison. It is produced by Paris Norvell, Byron Love and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
Paris Norvell is a freelance podcast producer for KCUR Studios,
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
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