death penalty

Kansas Department of Corrections

Proposals to rebuild part of the prison at Lansing could prompt a new debate over the Kansas death penalty. Plans for the prison include closing the facility that houses the state’s death chamber.

Kansas hasn’t executed anyone since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1990s. At a committee meeting Thursday, Republican Sen. Carolyn McGinn said instead of building a new death chamber, legislators might want to consider eliminating the death penalty.

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

A proposed bill would compensate wrongfully convicted people in Kansas $80,000 for each year served in prison and give them an additional $1 million if they were on death row.

The bill, if signed into law, would make Kansas one of the most generous states for exonerated people. The state currently doesn't have a law for wrongful conviction compensation.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Opponents of the death penalty are making a new push to repeal capital punishment in Kansas. They hope the crop of new lawmakers could give repeal efforts a new chance. They made their arguments on Monday at the Statehouse.

Celeste Dixon’s mother was murdered in Texas, and her killer was executed. Dixon, who lives in Larned, says she used to support the death penalty, but she now believes the money spent on Kansas death row cases could be better used in other law enforcement.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Two former Kansas attorneys general, a Democrat and a Republican, say Kansas Supreme Court justices should keep their jobs. Five justices face retention elections this November.

The two former politicians have joined a campaign by the group Kansans for Fair Courts.

Former Attorneys General Bob Stephan and Steve Six say the Kansas justices have been fair and impartial in their rulings. They say a very small number of the court’s decision have been overturned on appeal, which shows the justices are doing good work.

The first TV spot has landed in the contentious battle to retain four Kansas Supreme Court justices in the November Election. The ad was paid for by Kansans for Fair Courts, the group backing retention.

The 30-second spot starts airing in the Wichita market on Friday. It takes on the two biggest issues Republicans and other conservatives are using against four of the five justices on the ballot: the death penalty and school finance.

The ad also tries to tie the ouster of the justices to Gov. Sam Brownback.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A bipartisan group of four former Kansas governors are campaigning on for the state’s Supreme Court justices--five of whom are are facing retention elections this fall.

The governors are on a two-day tour organized by Kansans for Fair Courts, a group campaigning on behalf of the targeted justices; judges' political activity is severely restricted. The four appeared at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce before moving on to Topeka for a similar event; they're headed to Wichita next.

Kansas Republicans voted Saturday to leave support for the death penalty out of their party platform. It was the most contentious of the issues Republicans took up at their state convention in Topeka in anticipation of this year’s elections, which will decide the fate of all 125 House seats and 40 Senate seats in the state legislature.

Jim McClean

A bipartisan group of Kansas legislators is attempting to repeal the state’s death penalty. They say they’re building support among rank and file lawmakers but having trouble overcoming opposition from legislative leaders.

The lawmakers sponsoring the repeal bill say the death penalty is ineffective, wasteful and unjust.

Ken Piorkowski, flickr Creative Commons

Some lawmakers say efforts to repeal the Kansas death penalty may be stymied by the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding three Kansas death sentences.

A bill repealing the death penalty in Kansas was introduced Friday in the House. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the measure would prohibit death sentences for any crimes committed after July 1.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Opponents of the death penalty in Kansas are hoping the pope’s words can spur some action on the issue. Pope Francis called for ending capital punishment during a speech before a joint session of Congress Thursday.

Mary Sloan, with the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty, had hoped Pope Francis would talk about the issue during his visit to the U.S., and she’s especially pleased it came during his high-profile speech.

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