Senate Bill 666 is an ‘act of legalizing murder’

STODDARD COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) — Another possible change to Missouri law has Heartland prosecutors, sheriffs and police chiefs sounding the alarm.

This time, they say the criminals could cry self-defense and possibly get away with murder.

“It would absolutely create chaos in the state of Missouri.”

Stoddard County District Attorney Russ Oliver speaks about Senate Bill 666.

Under this measure, all instances of physical or deadly force would be presumed to be self-defense unless proven otherwise.

“It would automatically have the presumption of self-defense in every assault, every murder,” he said.

Oliver testified against SB 666 before members of the Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee. He spoke on behalf of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, where he is a member of the legislative committee.

“It was important to come here and let our senators know that this bill is dangerous to public safety,” he said. “This bill is dangerous for our victims. And we shouldn’t have to go before a judge before we can arrest someone who killed someone.

Oliver also joined a host of law enforcement officials from across southeast Missouri in sending a letter to State Sen. Jason Bean. In it, they call SB 666 a “public safety disaster,” making it even more difficult to bring violent criminals to justice.

Cape Girardeau Police Chief Wes Blair added his name to the letter.

“There’s obviously the real potential that the moment they claim self-defense our hands are tied,” he said.

Blair said the new push comes as they are still handcuffed by the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which prevents them from working with the federal government on gun cases.

“We thought, well, you can’t do worse than that,” he said. “And now we’re looking at potential legislation here that says unless I can definitively prove a suspect didn’t act in self-defence, I can’t even make an arrest.”

That’s why the letter ends with a statement Oliver swore, “SB 666 is called Make Murder Legal Act.”

“Law enforcement feels like they’re under attack from Jefferson City. And we had to come here and tell them we can’t, you can’t make our job that much harder and put up so many obstacles among us and seek justice for the victims of violent crimes.

SB 666 is sponsored by Republican Eric Burlison, who also sponsored the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which is still being challenged in court.

According to his office, since we are not in his neighborhood, he is not interested in commenting on this story.

It is not yet known when this Senate committee will vote on the measure.

Copyright 2022 KFVS. All rights reserved.

Norman D. Briggs