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Missouri case needs to be reviewed by the Supreme Court

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"I had one court date left," he said.

That treatment plan would have taken 120 days; he would have been out by about Jan. 11. But before the case could move forward, the Supreme Court stepped in and ordered that the Christian County court stop any action on the case.

Prosecutors have now sent a letter to the Supreme Court to see if Blacksher can plead guilty on his own and move forward with the case. It was unclear last week when the judges would take up that motion.

Blacksher said he tries not to think about the time he spends waiting. Instead, he reads voraciously -- whatever he can get his hands on.

Although he thinks it's unfair, Blacksher said there's been a silver lining to his limbo. He went into jail as a recovering drug addict and said the extra time away from old surroundings has made his recovery more solid.

"It's changed a lot of my outlook on things," he said.

He insists no one should feel sorry for him and cites a strong belief in karma as the possible reason he was the unlucky person chosen as a test case.

In July, the Springfield defender office began closing to new clients. Shortly afterward, Blacksher turned himself in to authorities in Christian County. His timing proved awful.

"I should've done it either earlier or later," he said, shaking his head.

Blacksher's case was chosen as the one the Missouri Public Defender Commission would fight in court.

So while others accused of similar crimes have left to serve prison time or probation, Blacksher has been in the same cell watching the time go by, all on the county's dime -- $45 a day.

The problem of how to fund indigent defense is not a battle unique to Missouri. New York, Georgia, Connecticut and several other states have seen similar challenges.

The Supreme Court issued a writ of prohibition in Blacksher's case in September -- meaning Blacksher can't plead guilty, can't get a court date or be represented by anyone else.

As others come and go, as the days pass, as the legal jousting continues, he has no way out.

He just has to wait.


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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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