Host Craig Lubow speaks with Michelle Smith, Racial Justice Coordinator for Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, MADP, about the cases of Marcellus Williams and Ernest Johnson.


Marcellus Williams was convicted of murder in 2001 and evidence has surfaced which indicates he did not commit the crime.  Marcellus is still on death row due to a stay of execution issued by former Missouri Governor Greitens in 2017, although there is evidence of a wrongful conviction.  Ernest Johnson is an adult with intellectual disability.  Although as a nation, we believe the death penalty should only be imposed in cases where there is evidence of intent and intellectual disability can compromise the ability to have intent, in Missouri, Ernest is on death row facing execution in October 2021.  Important aspects of Ernest’s case are the stereotypes applied to him because of his intellectual disability.

Sometimes the story of “justice” is as awful as the crime.  Please listen as we try to bend the arc toward justice.


We’ll play our calendar at the midpoint of our hour. Next, host Melvin Merritt will speak with Kenneth A. Vick, Executive Director at Benilde Hall. The mission of Benilde Hall is to provide services for treating substance use disorder, mental health and homelessness, so individuals may return to the community as responsible, employed and permanently housed contributing members of society. Benilde Hall is an all-encompassing program targeted at helping people who need help.

On Jaws of Justice, we investigate how to achieve justice in America.

We hope you will listen.

TUNE IN TO KKFI 90.1 FM https://kkfi.org/listen/

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

Calendar for the week of August 9th:

  • Legal Aid of Western Missouri provides free civil legal services to low-income and vulnerable people in Jackson CTY Missouri. Interested individuals can call 816-474-6750 to apply.


  • Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a very active group of Mothers and others. You can learn where their virtual meetings this week will occur at  https://momsdemandaction.org/events/


  • MON, August 9th, 3 PM Monday Meets: Online event hosted by The Willow Domestic Violence Center Get to know the Willow. Facebook Live


  • MON, August 9th, 6 PM, is a More² August Issues2Action Meeting, you can join, online via zoom. There will be breakout groups by issue task force for both Missouri and Kansas teams. Register to attend at More² on Facebook or https://more2.org/events/


  • FRI, August 13th, 6 – 9 PM, KC Tenants is hosting a People’s Picnic at the Swope Park Bandstand, Pavilion Rd at Swope Park. Tenants and families throughout Kansas City are invited to enjoy a variety of FREE summer foods and build relationships with each other as we embrace the summer heat. The picnic event is open to all ages. Children will have access to the Swope Park playground located just north of the Bandstand Pavilion.



  • SAT, August 14th, 1 PM KC MASS Movement Meeting is on Zoom, please register for a Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZAvcu-rpz0oEtWgwrBXq More info on Facebook


  • SAT, August 14th, noon, you can join the August session of Mothers of Incarcerated Sons & Daughters at The Plexpod 38th & Warwick. KCMO More details at https://misdkc.org/


  • A list of services, meals, and hot lines specific to sheltering are available at lawrenceprogressivecalendar.blogspot.com. It is updated daily.


Stay safe. Thanks to all our listeners, stay close to your dial and stay well!


Share This Episode