Report: Jackson County probation rates up
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A newspaper reports that Jackson County has been placing violent criminals on probation more frequently than neighboring Missouri counties.
The Kansas City Star reports that from 2009 to 2013, Jackson County judges granted probation in 33 percent of first-degree robbery cases and 25 percent of the worst felony assault cases. In some cases, defendants had to spend 120 days in custody before beginning probation.
The county has also placed 15 people convicted of second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter on probation in the last five years.
One-third of Jackson County's 389 first-degree robbery convictions from 2009 through 2013 ended with probation, about twice the rate for nearby Clay County. Platte County issued no probations for that crime.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker says she stands by her staff's work.