1,000 signatures reached
To: St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell
Follow through on your reform commitments within your first 100 Days!
Adopt a comprehensive plan to overhaul the criminal justice system in St. Louis County.
Why is this important?
This November, St. Louis County voters made the choice to transform the local criminal justice system. On the four year anniversary of Mike Brown’s death, the criminal justice reform candidate, Wesley Bell, ousted the 20-year incumbent, Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor who failed to indict the police officer responsible for fatally shooting Mike Brown. The people of St. Louis County sent a very clear message - the prosecutor's office should lead the way on criminal justice reform.
As Bell takes office, St. Louis County communities are coming together in support of his reform agenda. The St. Louis County Reform Coalition has brought together community organizations to push for immediate change in his first 100 days in office. We've asked Bell to prioritize 3 reforms in his first 100 Days: making the prosecutor's office more transparent, creating a convictions integrity unit and reforming the use of money bail.
Join us in calling for St. Louis Prosecutor Wesley Bell to adopt our reform priorities within the first 100 days of his administration.
Read more about our platform below.
We are calling on Bell to ensure that the office of the St. Louis County Prosecutor becomes transparent to the people it serves. Elected prosecutors should maintain and publicly report accurate statistics of their office’s actions including reductions in case acceptance rates, bail reform practices, use of alternatives to incarceration, Brady violations, charging decisions, and jury pool composition. We are asking Bell to commit to an internal assessment of the office’s data within the first 100 days and release the assessment as soon as feasible. We ask that in this 100 days Bell meet with coalition members and members of the St. Louis County community monthly and affirmatively disclose the steps taken to achieve transparency.
CONVICTION INTEGRITY UNIT
Second, we call on Bell's to honor his commitment to establish a conviction integrity unit. For 28 years, St. Louis County has suffered the consequences of the failed War on Drugs, criminalization of poverty, and racially charged decision-making. These policies and decisions left us with countless cases in need of review. Any proposed conviction integrity unit should function independently, possess adequate resources, and be staffed by someone with a background in defense litigation and should be modeled after conviction integrity units around the country with measurable successes. Within your first 100 days, we seek public opportunities to vet potential policies for a proposed conviction integrity unit. We ask that Bell share a concrete timeline with metrics to measure success for the rollout of the conviction integrity unit. We ask that those metrics include estimates on the number of cases the office will have the capacity to review monthly, the types of cases under review and how the office will measure progress.
Lastly, we are calling on Bell to stand firm in his commitment to end cash bail. Unjust cash bail policies contribute to the mass incarceration of poor people and people of color by keeping them in jail because they are too poor to pay bail. We will look to you to reform our bail system both by speaking out in Saint Louis County and in our state capitol. We are asking Bell to develop a plan to replace bail with proven tactics to ensure individuals appear in court without deprivation of their civil liberties. Those alternatives include electronic reminders of court dates, outreach, and the speedy resolution of trials. They do not include for-profit electronic monitoring services and racially-biased risk-assessment algorithms. Within his first 100 days, we urge Bell to set specific benchmarks for how he will end the use of cash bail, stop pre-trial detention for low-level offenses, and share those with community members directly.