Former Missouri Rep. Kenny Hulshof Accused of Another Case of Prosecutorial Abuse

160px-rep_kenny_hulshofFormer Missouri Rep. Kenny Hulshof secured six terms as a Republican member of the House and ran for Governor on his tough-on-crime record. That record, however, is now under scrutiny with another abuse cited by a court from Hulshof’s work as a prosecutor — leading to the conviction of a teenager for a murder that he did not commit.

Hulshof prosecuted Joshua Kezer, who was 17, for the 1992 shooting death of 19-year-old Angela Mischelle Lawless. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 60 years. He has spent 15 years in jail before a court found that the prosecution withheld key evidence that would have cleared Kezer.

Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan ruled that Joshua Kezer was wrongly convicted of killing Lawless who was found in her car with the motor still running an the Interstate 55 exit ramp.

Callahan singled out the Hulshof for his alleged misconduct as the special prosecutor in the case.

kezer200fileCallahan said Hulshof withheld key evidence from defense attorneys and exaggerated details before the jury. New evidence has revealed that Lawless had DNA material under her fingernails belonging to her ex-boyfriend.

Hulshof is now practicing a Kansas City-based law firm Polsinelli Shalton Flanigan Suelthaus and insists that he did a good job. However, in 2008, an AP investigation found a pattern of such abuses by Hulshof in four other cases prosecutorial errors by Hulshof led to death sentence reversals.

In this case, the court accused Hulshof of concealing (1) investigative notebooks that included references to other suspects and contractions among witnesses; (2) an interview record of a witness who spotted another suspect near the car who was biracial (Kezer is white); and (3) a written statement from an inmate who admitted to lying when he said that Kezer confessed to the crime. In addition, Hulshof told the jury “We put him at the scene, we put a gun in his hand, we put the victim with him, we have got blood on his clothes.” The court said that that statement was untrue.

The question is what the Missouri bar will do about a prosecutor with such a record. In North Carolina, the bar disbarred Michael Nifong for his abuses in the Duke Lacrosse case. That was just one such case of abuse. Of course, he could always become a talk show host.

As for Polsinelli Shalton , the firm still tauts Hulshof as a real catch for the firm on its news site.

For the full story, click here and here and here.

23 thoughts on “Former Missouri Rep. Kenny Hulshof Accused of Another Case of Prosecutorial Abuse”

  1. There is nothing worse than evil presenting itself as good. Any accomplishments this man has done in his life are over-rid by this gross injustice – as a result of his lies. He claims to have integrity, is in good standing with the bar, a resume of prestigious political involvement – while this boy spend his holidays, and days in torture year after year.

    This story sickens me. There are many in the judicial system like this, some of which are in the OED Of the patent and trademark office. Prosecutorial Misconduct – lies and so forth should be punishable by law. Any lawyer who places an innocent party in prison or twists the evidence and truth – should not only be disbarred but in criminal application, should be in prison serving the sentence imposed on the innocent.

  2. I do not know what to say other than “abuse” is the norm in Missouri, that there is a God and everyone will be accountable sooner or later. My wife is tattered with fear, a woman RN that only serves and serves. We think this experience MUST be exposed because next is your children. [I am located in Kansas City, Missouri. For 3 years we have had a nightmare with Michael Huffman, Jackson Cty.Prosecuting Attorney 816-881-3555, fax 816-881-4526, with a lawsuit by the MO State Revenue, he messed up. We were paying but he decided to ask for ALL the money up front and garnished,levied our salary and bank accounts at 100% leaving us with zero income, no health insurance and has repeated this for 3 years. He is treating us as criminals and at the rate of rich criminals. We are under financial hardship and I am unemployed. He yelled at us at the Courthouse after 3 years of his unanswered calls, letters and faxes, his superiors have allowed this to continue, video surveillance of the incidence should attest. After this he yelled he would seek jail-time and the maximum this after taking ALL our money. We waited and did not get anything from him so we sent in $200 of the $3000 owed. He just sent us a revised of a revised of a revised bill from $3400 now we owe $2200 without the $200 already sent in. Is anyone seeing this? He also sent us a Trial date of 12/1, and we need a Civil Rights Attorney right away. 8166828661.”We want to go home from this terrorist State”.]

  3. Who was Sheriff Walter talking about when he said, “Local law enforcment gave me a hard time about this, they said, you have a man in jail, leave it alone”, Who said it? was it the prosecutor we have today? Are we in the same shape we were back then?

  4. For any of those who are still following:

    Kenny Hulshof is still in “good standing” with the Missouri Bar.

    Prosecutorial misconduct, much like misconduct on the part of lawyers and judges, is ignored in the State of Missouri.

    As most of you know, in 1940, Missouri was the first to adopt merit selection. The premise for merit selection is great. However, the devil is in the details…and in Missouri…the details have provided a comfortable place for the devil to do his deeds.

    When merit selection was adopted, it consisted of three separate entities: A judge of the Missouri Supreme Court; 3 members of the state bar; and 3 laymen appointed by the governor.

    At the time of adoption, the state bar was a voluntary benevolent society…completely separate from the court. Just four years after merit selection was adopted, and having only appointed one judge to the Missouri Supreme Court under this arrangement; the Missouri Supreme their new ability to “create rules for PRACTICE and PROCEDURE..made the state bar a committee of the Missouri Supreme Court.

    This gave the Court..and their newly acquired committee..a 4-3 domination of the selection committee.

    The one judge of the Missouri Supreme Court that was appointed under the merit selection plan (the one the voters adopted) was paraded around the country (and even the world) by the American Judicature Society as some great prize. His name was Laurence Mastick Hyde. He is described as being a “handsome man”, and for a long time was touted as one of Missouri’s great judges. However, the only quote made by this judge, that is available anywhere on the net is ““No plan is perfect, but I don’t see how anybody could devise a better one.”

    The creation of merit selection in Missouri provided a means of perpetuating the power of the “political machine”. It just moved the power from those who create the laws, to those who adjudicate the laws. In addition, it removed those in power from such pesky things as elections, and accountability.

    Did you know that impeachment trials are held in the Missouri Supreme Court?

    Did you know that the Missouri Commission on Retirement, Removal, and Discipline of Judges is arranged so that the vote of the lay members is easily silenced?

    Did you know that the OCDC (the entity in charge of lawyer discipline) has no lay input?

    The legal system in Missouri has everything but accountability.

    Missouri is a hotbed of corruption that has managed to keep such hidden by using the influence of the Court’s 28,000 member army, and their multi-million dollar a year purse, to instruct the sheople (I mean voters).

    If you want to find out how they did it, I suggest reading Albert Kales (co-founder of the AJS) book “Unpopular Government in the United States”. –You can download it “for free” from Google books.

    Perhaps Missouri would have been better off, had they listened to the May 29th, 1942 declaration of Chief Justice Gantt. The Saint Louis Post Dispatch ran a headline stating “Gantt in Reply Declares ‘People Should Blow Court Out Of Existence’”.

    Gantt also said “the court itself was under the domination of the Pendergast machine”. -Remember..this was two years after merit selection all but directly enabled the court to select their own replacements. The 1944 adoption of the Bar as a committee of the Court sealed the deal.

    I doubt you will see Hulshof disciplined by a court that he has SERVED so well.

    The voters of Missouri need to figure out that this isn’t about party’s about power and control.

  5. BTW, Kenny, I hope the pending civil suit from Mr. Kezer leaves you as broke as a two legged table. Sleep tight! You won’t be enjoying that nice house much longer. But Mr. Kezer will find it a vast improvement over the situation you ILLEGALLY put him in.

  6. Check this out.

    The local news, KCTV 5, just reported that Hulsof said, “Mr. Kezer being released is a travesty of justice.”

    Well, Kenny, I guess it takes one to know one, ya prick. Enjoy your disbarment! I sure will. Maybe you and that loser half-wit Phil Kline can go into the used car business together.

  7. seamus,
    Thanks for the update on the jury instruction change here in Illinois. I would hope that the Bar Association in Missouri will do the right thing and take a long look at this dirtbag. I have no patience for prosecutors who cheat and break the law.

  8. can people in jail really be that stupid? they sure can.

    i have been typing legal transcripts for over 25 years. for the past year, off and on, i have been transcribing telephone calls from a defendant being held on a charge of murder (he shot and killed another kid).

    it’s astonishing what this moron is willing to say even though he knows he is being recorded — and acknowledges that his lawyer has warned him many times. he thinks no one can figure out who or what he’s talking about if he “talks in code.” hilarious!

    many of the discussions involve his girlfriend telling him to stop talking to people in jail because the prosecution already has one fellow prisoner testifying for the prosecution.

    yeah, they can be just that stupid.

  9. Illinois has attempted to deal with the ‘jail house snitch’ problem with a relatively new jury instruction asking the jurors to consider the special insentives/bias’s jail house informants may have in testifying and in producing statements for the State.

  10. Sammy:

    Though I cannot opine with the same authority as Professor Turley on the topic, I do note that you raise and make a good point. At common law, convicted felons were barred from testifying as their word was deemed inherently unreliable; this was true even if they were sued in Virginia for the wrongful death of someone they murdered. Alas, we rarely have Popes or boy scouts witnessing criminal acts, and have come to rely in modern times, albeit warily, on the testimony of those in the best position to know the facts, their criminality notwithstanding. While permitting felons to testify, the Court and juries are loathe to rely on their words alone to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, but may do so as the common law prohibition has been abrogated. The practice is far from perfect and certainly not free from criticism.

  11. Why isn’t Hulshof charged criminally? It is unbelievably evil to knowingly charge or convict an innocent person, sending them to jail or worse, the chair. I hope a large civil suit may be filed, but this should be handled as a criminal matter.

  12. Sammy,

    “Are these folks really, really that stupid?”

    You’d be surprised. As Harlan Ellison once so deftly noted, “The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.”

  13. Professor Turley: Please explain why testimony from a prison inmate is allowed to be used in trial against another inmate?

    The whole idea makes no sense to me. Why would anyone locked up in a cell and on trial for anything “confess” to the other inmates, especially when the confessor is in trial and could receive the death penality or be incarcerated for life?

    Why would a judge allow the testimony an inmate already in jail for any number of heinous crimes, say murder or rape, to be accepted as credible against the person on trial? Would not the assumption be that the murderer will lie for some promised benefit, otherwise what is to be gained?

    Really, do people really waltz into a jail cell and announce “Yeah, I killed the entire family”? This is totally illogical.

    Are these folks really, really that stupid?

  14. I just noticed that the good professor picked up the Palin story and posted it seperately. Thanks, JT.

  15. Buddah

    I don’t want to interupt your fun, but I’d like to leave the below for the trolls. It’s off subject, of course, but that’s their MO. It did get me to chuckle a bit when I read it, tho.

    Palin to pay tax on past per diem
    EXPENSES: Governor received meal money while living in Wasilla.


    Published: February 17th, 2009 10:20 PM

    Gov. Sarah Palin must pay income taxes on thousands of dollars in expense money she received while living at her Wasilla home, under a new determination by state officials…….

  16. “Tell them”

    If I could just train these cats to make my coffee for me . . .

  17. Oh, I am going to have some phone fun with this . . .

    Here the contact info if you want to help out . . .

    Polsinelli Shalton Flanigan Suelthaus
    7500 College Blvd
    Overland Park, KS 66210

    (913) 451-8788

    Tell how likely you’d be to use their services while they employ an abusive prick like Hulsof.

Comments are closed.