Municipal courts operate in secret and work hard to keep it that way

Later On

St. Louis MO seems to be a hotbed of bad government. Jennifer Mann and Stephen Deere report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the flagrantly unconstitutional municipal courts in the area are run.

Some of the best deals that are made in the region’s municipal courts never see the light of day.

When prosecutors dismiss a citation it is often done at a whisper, in a side room, or out of court altogether.

Then the record is sealed under a state law that is ostensibly to protect the falsely accused but in reality often hides favors.

It’s just one example of how the region’s municipal courts operate in secret, keeping uneven treatment private and using laws and court rules to justify it.

A Post-Dispatch investigation into the courts found a pervasive lack of transparency. Court hearings are conducted in assembly-line fashion and in hushed tones, without any way for the…

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