The Missouri Senate could soon debate whether to form a statewide “conviction review unit.” State Senator Brian Williams, a Democrat from University City, wants to create one to investigate a defendant’s claim of innocence, including those who plead guilty to charges.

Williams says the wrongful convictions of Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson have convinced him that Missouri needs a unit dedicated to reviewing convictions. His proposal calls for the review unit to present its findings to the attorney who prosecuted the case or to the office that initiated the review.