U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- On 30 July, 2021, Governor Mike Parson granted pardons to Mark and Patrica McCloskey, along with 10 other people. The McCloskeys had defended their home from an angry mob of political protestors. From the office of Communication of Missouri Governor Michael L. Parson:
On Friday, July 30, 2021, Governor Mike Parson granted 12 pardons and approved two commutations pursuant to Article IV, Section 7 of the Constitution of the State of Missouri. Official documents have been filed with the appropriate government agencies and are being sent to the individuals.
1) Phillip Vancil
2) Roy Middleton
3) Travis Gilliland
4) Dennis Hargiss
5) Linda Floyd
6) Marlo Finner
7) Kenneth Callahan
8) John Biggs
9) Randy Huggins
10) Jeremy Murray
11) Mark McCloskey
12) Patricia McCloskey
1) Matthew Carrell
2) Deitra Cole
Mark and Patricia McCloskey became famous when an angry mob of demonstrators was directed into their private neighborhood by demonstration organizers. The couple was terrifically outnumbered. Both sides had weapons. The demonstrators yelled threats; the couple pointed firearms in the direction of the demonstrators. A gate to the complex was destroyed in the process.
Far Left prosecutor Kim Gardner, a supporter of Black Lives Matter, who organized the protest, charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey with “Unlawful use of Weapons”.
The charge, which flew in the face of the video evidence, ignited sympathy for Pat and Mark. Kim Gardner, whose official title is St. Louis Circuit Attorney, used the prosecution as part of her bid for re-election. There were additional charges of evidence tampering, although the tampering seems to have been on the orders of the prosecutor’s office.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt called for the dismissal of the charges.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson said he would pardon the couple.
Evidence surfaced of political pressure by Kim Gardner’s prosecutor’s office to prosecute the McCloskeys.
As a result, combined with effective legal maneuvers by the McCloskeys, Kim Gardner and her entire office were removed from the case.
The case was handed over to special prosecutor Richard C. Callahan. Callahan was not unbiased. He had been appointed by President Barack Obama as a U.S. Attorney. He is reported to be a longtime ally of former Senator Claire McCaskill (D) MO.
Callahan looked at the case and knew he was unlikely to get a conviction on the firearms charges. He wanted a conviction, but his highest priority was to confiscate the couple’s firearms as a symbolic victory. Calahan made public statements there was no evidence anyone in the mob was armed when police had presented evidence that members of the mob were armed.
Callahan combed through the law and found a charge which would be very difficult to defend against. Then he negotiated a reasonably favorable plea deal with the McCloskeys, so he could declare victory. The plea deal included pleading guilty to a minor misdemeanor and surrendering a Bryco 38 pistol and an ordinary AR-15. Mark McCloskey immediately purchased a replacement AR-15 type rifle.
There is a serious problem in the criminal justice system when a special prosecutor openly says his highest priority is a symbolic, political, victory.
Governor Parson was reported to have said he would pardon the McCloskeys on 19 July 2020.
A little over a year later, on 30 July 2021, he kept his promise.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.