Kansas Death Penalty Rarely Used in 18 Years
Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994, but no executions have been carried out since 1965. On average, the state sentences less than one person to death per year. Four of those death sentences have been overturned in the early round of appeals, including that of Scott Cheever, whose capital conviction was unanimously reversed by the Kansas Supreme Court on August 24. No death sentence that has reached the state's highest court has been upheld. During Cheever's 2007 trial, a psychiatrist revealed the defendant's psychological records without his consent, thereby violating his right against self-incrimination. Donna Schneweis of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty commented on what this latest reversal meant, “In a death penalty trial, even a small mistake can mean the difference between life and death. This case is another example of just how flawed the Kansas death penalty is. We can’t eliminate the possibility of error.”
(J. Milburn, "Death row inmate's conviction overturned in sheriff's death," Associated Press, August 24, 2012.) See Arbitrariness and Kansas.