Defense attorney voices concerns about Amendment 2

Aug 27, 2014

Credit Joe Gratz / Flickr

A prominent criminal defense attorney is raising concerns about a Missouri ballot measure that would allow allegations of past wrongdoing to be used against people facing child sex abuse charges.

Attorney Kim Benjamin, of Belton, is the past president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She said today that proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 could result in more wrongful convictions for people falsely accused of sex crimes.

The proposal would allow prosecutors to use allegations of past criminal actions against defendants facing new sex-related charges involving victims younger than 18. It would essentially undo a 2007 Missouri Supreme Court decision that struck down a similar state law. Prosecutors and police are supporting the measure. Benjamin says defense attorneys haven't raised money for an organized campaign against it.