Friday, December 17, 2004

News flash

Kansas' Supreme Court has just struck down that state's death penalty law. Here's the AP story:

TOPEKA - Kansas' death penalty law is unconstitutional because it favors the state over defendants when aggravating and mitigating circumstances are equally split, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision today.

The decision came in the case of Michael Marsh of Wichita, who was convicted of killing Marry Ane Pusch and her 19-year-old daughter, Marry Elizabeth in 1996.

The decision was not a broad, sweeping indictment of capital punishment, but rather identified a technical error in the law the state Legislature could fix during their upcoming session.

The three justices who disagreed with the ruling, however, said it would wipe out the death penalty in other cases, including Reginald and Jonathan Carr, convicted of killing four people in Wichita in December 2000; Douglas Belt, sentenced to death last month for killing Lucille Gallegos in Wichita; and John Robinson, convicted in Johnson County of killing two women and stuffing their bodies in barrels.

The court also ordered a new trial for Marsh on capital murder and aggravated arson charges. The trial court erred by refusing to allow testimony that the victim's husband may have been involved in the murder, the Supreme Court ruled.

In a dissent, Chief Justice Kay McFarland wrote that the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty under similar circumstances in the case of Gary Kleypas, convicted in the 1996 rape and murder of Carrie Williams in Pittsburg.

"To now strike down the Kansas death penalty law is, in my opinion, wholly inappropriate and unjustified," she wrote.

1 comment:

Hope said...

I'm so glad to finally find a site dedicated to abolishing the death penalty. In fact, I was wondering if anyone could help me find out where Gary Kleypas stands at the moment. I'm very intersted in his outcome, because he's my relative. Yes, it is scary, but no matter what he did, he's family nonetheless. I have never met him, though. But anyways, I'm sorry to the family of the girl he killed and I apologize greatly, but please don't kill him for killing her. Killing for killing, or in Ghandi's words an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind! how is that going to help anything! please let me know if you can find out any information about Gary Kleypas' current standing! Again, I'm so sorry about what he did, but I'm sure that he would take it back if he could. Thanks again for the great site! I'm definately going to check it out more!