The State of Kansas will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review three Kansas Supreme Court decisions that overturned death sentences for three convicted murderers.
“We are not convinced that the Kansas court’s application of federal constitutional requirements is correct, so we are requesting review of all three cases by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a press release. “In each case, we doubt the U.S. Constitution compelled the Kansas court to set aside the death sentences that were recommended by juries of the defendants’ peers.”
On July 18, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld the capital murder conviction of Sidney Gleason but vacated Gleason’s death sentence. One week later, on July 25, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld a single capital murder conviction each for Reginald and Jonathan Carr but vacated both of their death sentences.
Schmidt says his office is working closely with Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett on the two Carr appeals. The Gleason appeal is being handled solely by the attorney general’s office, which also prosecuted the case in the trial court.
"On behalf of the victims and their families, I believe it is incumbent on the state to seek review of these decisions to ensure every effort has been made to preserve the jury’s verdict and uphold justice for the citizens of Kansas.” Bennett said. “With Attorney General Schmidt, I look forward to the opportunity to bring these cases to this nation’s highest court.”
The attorney general today formally notified the Kansas Supreme Court of his decision to appeal, putting further proceedings in all three cases on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to review the cases.
If the U.S. Supreme Court decides to review the cases, a decision could come next year.