Sarah Walters


In May 2020, the Missouri Legislature passed Senate Bill 600, a controversial crime bill which made modifications to a handful of criminal provisions in an effort to tackle the violent crime plaguing the state’s largest cities. According to Senator Tony Luetkemeyer, the bill’s sponsor, inspiration for the legislation stemmed from an August 2019 USA Today report ranking Kansas City and St. Louis as the fifth- and first-most-dangerous cities in the country, respectively, and Springfield as the twelfth-most-dangerous. In a similar USA Today report ranking the most dangerous states, Missouri broke the top ten, coming in at number eight overall, with St. Louis and Kansas City being the most concentrated areas for violent crime. Prosecutors and law enforcement from both cities urged Governor Parson to address the increase in homicides and violent crime. In 2020, there were 262 homicides in St. Louis, compared to 194 in 2019 and 186 in 2018. Similarly, Kansas City tallied 173 homicides in 2020, surpassing the 153 homicides in 1953 – the city’s deadliest year – and the 151 homicides in 2019. To address these staggering figures, the Missouri Legislature made targeted modifications to several criminal provisions, including modernizing the state’s conspiracy and gang-related statutes. The legislature aimed to achieve two goals: (1) to keep violent criminals and reoffenders off the streets, and (2) to provide prosecutors with the requisite tools to effectively prosecute gangs and violent criminals.

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.