Judges vote down gun court plan, approve another
ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A plan to create a separate gun court backed by Mayor Slay’s office, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson failed to get approval from judges in a meeting Monday.
The plan that failed was crafted by, among others, Judge Jack Garvey. It would have created two separate courts with specific judges just to handle gun cases.
Garvey called the plan “a serious attempt to solve the problem” of gun crime in St. Louis.
The proposal called for a significant amount of resources to be put into the new gun court including pre-trial services, two extra prosecutors and UMSL representatives to follow the cases and see what happened to the offenders.
Proponents, including Mayor Slay’s office, said the plan would have helped to streamline gun cases and would have given them special emphasis in the judicial system.
But opponents questioned the plan’s effectiveness.
An alternate plan submitted by Judge Robert Dierker won approval.
Dierker criticized the gun court plan saying the proposal was “an intrusion into (the justice’s) handling of the docket” and that courtrooms “are not a laboratory for a social work experiment.”
It seems many people at the meeting, except for the judges, didn’t know much about Dierker’s plan except that it reportedly will push gun cases to the top of dockets and give them high importance.
Circuit Attorney Joyce answered a few questions outside of the civil courts building, then left saying she had to go study what exactly judge Dierker’s proposal contains.
A spokesperson for Mayor Slay said supporters of the original plan may go to state lawmakers to tryand a get a gun court created.
There were 28 judges at the meeting. The vote against Garvey’s plan and for Dierker’s alternative was 17-11.