Paul D. Cramm


Lawyer Wants AG Removed from 1990 Rural Missouri Murder Case

By TONY RIZZO The Kansas City Star A Missouri man whose murder conviction was thrown out this month by the state Supreme Court is asking the court to disqualify the attorney general’s office from pursuing a new trial. Any decision to retry Mark Woodworth for the 1990 killing of a woman near Chillicothe, Mo., should be made by an independent prosecutor or the current county prosecutor, attorney Robert Ramset argued in court documents filed Tuesday on Woodworth’s behalf. In a separate action, the attorney general’s office filed official notice Tuesday stating that it intended to retry Woodworth. Woodworth, 38, was… Read More →

Supreme Court Wary of Warrantless Blood Draw in DUI Cases

Weighing Missouri case, Supreme Court wary of warrantless DUI blood tests By MARK SHERMAN Associated Press The Supreme Court appeared reluctant Wednesday to allow police to routinely order blood tests for unwilling drunken-driving suspects without at least trying to obtain a search warrant from a judge. The court heard arguments Wednesday in a case about a disputed blood test from Missouri, against the backdrop of a serious national problem of more than 10,000 deaths from crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers in 2010, about one every 51 minutes. That number has dropped by 60 percent in the past 20 years because of… Read More →

Missouri Supreme Court Overturns Chillicothe Murder Conviction Again

Court overturns conviction in murder that divided Chillicothe By TONY RIZZO The Kansas City Star Accused as a teen, Mark Woodworth watched two juries convict him in the 1990 shooting death of a neighbor at her farmhouse outside of Chillicothe, Mo. But on Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court threw out his conviction, clearing the way for the now 38-year-old man to be freed unless prosecutors decide to try him for a third time in the killing of Cathy Robertson, 40. In a 6-0 decision, the Supreme Court adopted the findings of a mid-Missouri judge who found in May that Woodworth… Read More →

Kansas Legislature Addresses Change in How State Judges are Selected

Expect Kansas Legislature to tackle how state judges are selected By BRAD COOPER The Kansas City Star Kansas lawyers are ready to relinquish some control over picking judges in hopes the process won’t be turned over to governors who might stack the courts with political soulmates. With the Legislature ready to take up judicial selection as early as next week, the Kansas Bar Association is suggesting that lawmakers rework the way upper-level judges are nominated instead of revamping the entire system and letting Gov. Sam Brownback name judges who are confirmed by the Senate. “Let’s not throw the baby out… Read More →

St. Louis Man Officially Cleared of Conviction in 1982 Murder

A St. Louis man who served 29 years of a 95-year prison sentence for a brutal 1982 slaying is officially a free man after a three-member state appeals court panel upheld a lower court’s decision that led to his release from prison last month. George Allen, 56, was convicted in 1983 of raping and killing 31-year-old Mary Bell in her aceon online no prescription Louis apartment. Prosecutors used a confession Allen gave to make their case, but Allen’s defense contended the confession by their client, who suffers from schizophrenia, was coerced. Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green issued… Read More →

More Details Emerge in Jovan Belcher Murder/Suicide Case

Less than two months ago, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher sent a foreboding text message to a secret girlfriend, expressing turmoil and frustration with his longtime girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins. In the message, Belcher said he “would shoot” Perkins “if she didn’t leave him alone,” according to police reports obtained by The Star. At the time, the secret girlfriend thought Belcher was joking. But on Dec. 1, Belcher emptied his .40-caliber handgun into Perkins, 22, killing her after they argued in the home they shared in the 5400 block of Crysler Avenue. He then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself with… Read More →

Convictions tossed, Missouri inmate gains freedom

By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER The Associated Press An inmate imprisoned nearly three decades for a rape and murder conviction walked free Wednesday after a judge ruled that St. Louis police hid or destroyed evidence while misleading the mentally ill man into a false confession. Wearing loose, donated clothes and appearing frail, George Allen Jr., 56, grinned as he hugged friends, family and supporters after a brief hearing before Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green. “I have spent 30 years in prison as an innocent man, but I never gave up hope,” Allen said, reading from a prepared statement. “I knew… Read More →

Drug Company Blocks Orders of Drug for Lethal Injection

Another manufacturer blocks drug for execution use, clouding Missouri’s plans By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER The Associated Press COLUMBIA — A manufacturer of the anesthetic blamed for Michael Jackson’s overdose death says it won’t allow the drug to be sold for use in executions. Drugmaker Fresenius Kabi USA is one of two domestic suppliers of propofol, which has been singled out as a lethal injection alternative amid a drug shortage that has forced several states to revise their execution protocols. Missouri this year said it would become the first state to use propofol as an execution drug. Fresenius Kabi confirmed to… Read More →

Chillicothe Murder Conviction on Appeal for the 3rd time

Inmate pleads his case again in 1990 Chillicothe killing Missouri high court hears what could be final appeal in 1990 Chillicothe killing. By TONY RIZZO The Kansas City Star In a case defying final resolution for more than two decades, the Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday heard what could be a convicted killer’s last chance at freedom. It’s a case that has seen an adolescent mature into middle age behind bars while his family — and the loved ones of the woman he’s twice been convicted of killing — witness a grueling legal state of limbo. Long jailed for the… Read More →

Kansas Considers Legalization of Medical Marijuana

By JAMES A. FUSSELL The Kansas City Star Every two weeks Greg T. of Independence drives downtown to the city’s underbelly to buy an eighth of an ounce of pot. He’s smoked marijuana for 37 years. He says it’s the only thing that eases the agony of his Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks his intestinal tract. A devout Christian and former Boy Scout, the 54-year-old father of two loves his country. But for decades, he said, that country has forced him to become a criminal to survive. Greg, who asked that his last name not be used because… Read More →