Kansas May Consider Death Penalty Repeal in 2014

Legislators in Kansas have said they may debate the repeal of the death penalty in 2014. Senate Vice President Jeff King said a recent session on other criminal justice issues indicated a need for a broader discussion of sentences for murder. Senator David Haley, who supports repeal of the death penalty, said, “I believe now is the time for a discussion among those in the Legislature who consider religion a main part of their public service to decide whether it’s necessary for a barbaric and immoral law [to] remain on the books.” A senate bill to repeal capital punishment almost passed in 2010 with a 20-20 vote. Donna Schneweis, chair of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty, said, “What we are witnessing is there really is support across the political spectrum, including conservatives, libertarians. It’s not just moderates and liberals who are opposed.” Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994, but has not had any executions since then.

There are 10 inmates on the state’s death row.

(J. Milburn, “Kansas lawmakers could debate death penalty in 2014,” Associated Press, September 15, 2013.) See Recent Legislation.