The Marysville Advocate publishes the editorial, "Replace death penalty with life in prison." It's by Sarah Kessinger.
In 1994, the death penalty was reinstated in Kansas after a 22-year absence. Since its return no executions have been carried out.
In the meantime, 17 states have abolished the death penalty while others have continued executions or have, like Kansas, spent more than a decade watching cases slowly wind their way through the appeals process.
During this time a quarter of all Kansas’ capital cases have been overturned because of trial errors, and a 2004 Kansas Judicial Council report notes the system is unfair — a person charged in Sedgwick County is more likely to get the death penalty than a person charged in Wyandotte County.
This occurs as investigations in other execution-minded states continue to reveal there is no fail-safe death penalty. Some defendants there have been put to death and later evidence surfaced revealing their innocence. It’s a frightening prospect that states hold that much power, because sometimes they get it wrong.
The editorial comes on the heels of the Kansas Supreme Court overturning a death sentence earlier this month, Kansas v. Cheever. You can view the opinion.
"Schmidt to appeal Kansas Supreme Court's decision to overturn conviction," is the Topeka Capital-Journal report.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Monday that he will appeal the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the conviction and death sentence of Scott Cheever in the 2005 murder of Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels.
“We have carefully analyzed the opinion of the Kansas Supreme Court overturning the capital murder conviction of Scott Cheever in the 2005 killing of Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels,” Schmidt said in a release. “We do not believe the court’s decision correctly reflects the requirements of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and therefore we will ask the United States Supreme Court to review the case.”
A Greenwood County jury found Cheever guilty in 2007 of capital murder of Samuels and recommended the death penalty be imposed. In August, the Kansas Supreme Court overturned Cheever’s conviction, citing constitutional violations and ordered a new trial in the case.
Earlier coverage from Kansas begins at the link.