Judge David Byrn

Judge David Byrn

Sharon Snyder, who had worked for the Jackson County court for 34 years lost her job for passing along a document that eventually helped to free a man from prison who had been wrongfully convicted of raping a woman.

Snyder says she gave Robert Nelson’s sister a copy of a motion last year from a different case in which a defendant successfully requested DNA testing. Nelson, who was convicted in 1984 of raping a woman and robbing her, previously filed two motions for DNA tests that were denied because they didn’t meet technical requirements.

Nelson was freed June 12 after DNA tests ruled him out as 1 of the rapists in the 1983 attack.

I understand that courts have to have rules but this really seems to be a case of the end justifying the means. Obviously Snyder had some idea that an innocent man was sitting in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. She knew she had the information his lawyers would need to start the process of getting him acquitted. She also waited until he had already filed to previous motions for DNA tests and had been denied. Was she just supposed to sit by and be complicit in an innocent man being locked away in prison for a crime he didn’t commit?

If you’d like to contact Judge Byrn and let him know what you think about his decision you’re in luck. His contact information is listed below.

Judge David Byrn’s email:


Judge Byrn’s administrative assistant:

Sharlene Patterson
Phone: 816-881-3603
E-mail: sharlene.patterson@courts.mo.gov

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.

One Comment

  1. […] Here’s Judge David Byrn, the judge that fired the 70-year old woman for helping to free an inn… […]



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