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March 30, 2015

SCOTUS grants cert on collection of capital cases from Kansas

The state of Kansas has not carried out a death sentence since 1965.  But even though the Sunflower state has not truly utilized its system of capital punishment for a full half-century, the Supreme Court apparently believes it is important to review three capital cases from the state as evidenced by its cert grants this morning in Kansas v. Jonathan Carr, Kansas v. Reginald Carr and Kansas v. Sidney Gleason.

This AP article provides this summary of the underlying crimes and defendants whose cases are now before the Justices:

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear Kansas' appeal to reinstate death sentences for two brothers in the fatal shootings of four people and for another man convicted of killing a couple.

The justices said they will review rulings by the Kansas Supreme Court that threw out the sentences of Jonathan and Reginald Carr and Sidney Gleason. The Kansas court hasn't upheld a death sentence since the state enacted a new capital punishment law in 1994. The state's last executions, by hanging, took place in 1965.

The Carr brothers were sentenced to death for the four killings, which occurred in Wichita in December 2000 and followed dozens of other crimes, including robbery and rape. Gleason was sentenced to die over the couple's deaths, in the central Kansas town of Great Bend in February 2004.

March 30, 2015 at 10:06 AM | Permalink


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KANSAS v. MARSH is a notable capital ruling out of that state in recent years.

The purpose of the grant is to deal with certain legal issues:

"The justices said they will consider instructions given to jurors in the sentencing phase of capital trials about evidence favorable to the defendants. The court also will weigh whether sentencing the Carr brothers together violated their rights."

These would affect, I gather, states where the death penalty has been more active in recent years.

Posted by: Joe | Mar 30, 2015 11:21:43 AM

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