From 2009 through 2013, judges in Jackson County, Mo., awarded probation for the worst violent crimes more often than their counterparts in any other court jurisdiction in the state. A Kansas City Star data analysis showed that during that period, one-quarter of people convicted of first-degree assault and one-third of those convicted of first-degree robbery received probation in Jackson County. Some of those defendants later committed far worse crimes. In addition, Jackson County gave probation more often for second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter convictions than all the other jurisdictions in Missouri combined.
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