JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A former prosecutor will not be disciplined by the Missouri Supreme Court.
Amy McGowan is a former Jackson County prosecutor. The Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether she violated the rules of professional conduct and if her law license should be suspended indefinitely.
The court ruled it would not discipline McGowan because there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support the misconduct claims.
McGowan prosecuted several cases that have since been overturned in both Missouri and Kansas, including two high-profile murder cases.
One of those felony murder convictions sent Ricky Kidd to prison for 23 years.
A court later determined McGowan failed to disclose evidence that may have exonerated Kidd at the time of his trial.
Kidd was eventually exonerated after serving more than two decades for a crime he did not commit.
McGowan also charged Keith Carnes with murder. Carnes was exonerated earlier this year after spending 19 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit.
Both Kidd and Carnes were convicted in Missouri, but McGowan also worked in Douglas County, Kansas.
The Kansas Supreme Court vacated a sentence for one of the biggest cases in Lawrence when she served as a prosecutor in Douglas County. The Kansas High Court also highlighted errors and improper comments by McGowan in other cases.
KC Freedom Project also protested McGowan and her record. The group said her long history trying cases is riddled with trouble, and that Ricky Kidd’s release is just further proof of that.
The Douglas County prosecutor’s office removed McGowan from prosecuting active cases and re-assigned her as a charging attorney in 2018. She retired on Nov. 1, 2019.
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