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      Governor makes it easier to prosecute child porn cases

      Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed a bill that significantly reforms the Missouri public defender system.

      Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed a bill that significantly reforms the Missouri public defender system. It is called House Bill 215, which is an omnibus crime bill. There are several changes in the bill.

      Adair County Prosecutor Matt Wilson explained how the bill creates a statutory system for collecting restitution for crime victims. ??The changes in restitution are if an individual say stole something, damaged your property and they were sent to prison, you had no mechanism to gaining restitution back for your victims,?? Wilson said. ??Victims were required to choose between on more serious individuals, sending them to prison, or getting their money back. And so now, the law says no, if they need to be sent to prison because they violated their probation, or because they need to go to prison, then they can go to prison; but it requires that if they come out of prison and are placed on parole it requires that restitution be required as part of parole.??

      The bill also clarifies the law regarding possession of multiple images of child pornography. ??It used to be if you??d have 20 images and it was a class B felony and you had to group them together. Now, the law says each individual image is a crime. So, if an individual has 15 separate images of child pornography then they can be charged 15 times,?? Wilson said.

      Wilson added it does not matter if the images were downloaded on the same day or not. ??Every separate image is a separate crime and that really cleaned up what the statute said before,?? he said.

      According to the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Governor Nixon signing House Bill 215 is a good thing.