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Politically Speaking: Circuit Attorney Joyce blasts Amendment 5, defends media subpoenaes

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking podcast team welcomed St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce as its latest guest for what turned out to be a particularly spirited show.

Joyce is a St. Louis native with deep political roots. Both of her parents – Jack and Nellene Joyce – served as aldermen in the 23rd Ward (the old home turf of Mayor Francis Slay.)

Joyce graduated from  Bishop DuBourg High School in south St. Louis and obtained her law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1987.

After a stint in private practice, she joined the circuit attorney’s office as an assistant circuit attorney in 1994. She was elected circuit attorney in 2000.

According her bio, before her ascension to the office’s top post, Joyce already "had handled more than 700 felony cases including: rape, child abuse, assault, armed robbery, car theft, drug trafficking and weapons offenses."

Joyce plans to seek a fifth term in 2016.  When she finishes her current term, she will be the city’s longest-serving circuit attorney.

Joyce talks with St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jo Mannies before a taping of the Politically Speaking podcast.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
Joyce talks with St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jo Mannies before a taping of the Politically Speaking podcast.

On the podcast, Joyce said:

  • She’s strongly concerned with the gun violence plaguing St. Louis, and actively looking for ways to curb it. She says the entire region needs to get involved in the effort.
  • She’s passionately opposed to Amendment 5, which passed statewide and expands gun rights. Because it was poorly worded, she said, prosecutors can no longer confiscate guns from convicted felons.
  • Although she supports Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s 2016 bid for governor, she calls Koster’s defense of Amendment 5 “ridiculous.’’
  • She defended her subpoena of St. Louis Public Radio, and other media outlets, to seek evidence about an alleged assault during a aldermanic committee meeting on a proposed civilian oversight board for the St. Louis police department. She also was critical of the radio station’s reaction to the subpoena, which has been dropped because she said the station didn’t have the type of evidence she was seeking.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter:@jmannies

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Jennifer Joyce on Twitter: @JenniferJoyceCA

Follow the circuit attorney's office on Twitter: @stlcao

Music: "Bohemian Like You" by the Dandy Warhols

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Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.
Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.