Prosecuting Panel

This panel discussed several related issues:

-Are there procedural safeguards that can be put in place to alleviate the deep distrust the community now has in such cases?

-What are the pros and cons of the different kinds of grand jury procedures?

-Is presenting all the evidence to the grand jury a more democratic process than presenting only the incriminating evidence?

-When prosecutors discover they have mistakenly presented an older version of the relevant statute how should they handle this in order not to taint the proceedings?

-How should we address the fact that in such cases prosecutors are asked to prosecute the police they work closely with regularly?

-Where is the threshold for a conflict of interest? Should even the appearance of conflicts of interest mean that a special prosecutor is called even if the prosecutor feels there is no conflict?

-What about reforms like in CA where they have banned grand juries from police shooting cases? Is that a good or bad idea? Why?


  • Rachel Smith – Chief Prosecutor, Community Affairs Bureau, Saint Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office
  • Dion Sankar – Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office (Kansas City)
  • Tony Rothert – Legal Director, ACLU-MO
  • Kimberly Gardner – Missouri State House, 77th District and former Assistant Circuit Attorney, City of St. Louis


Rachel Smith


Tony Rothert


Dion Sankar

Sankar Bio

Kimberly Gardner

Gardner Bio