WICHITA, Kan. — The following statements are in reaction to the Kansas Supreme Court's decision to reverse the death penalty sentences of the Carr brothers. More on that story can be found here.
Statement from former Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston:
"I am devastated with the opinion. It leaves unresolved the deaths of three of the four citims as if they never occurred under this court's ruling. I am devastated for the victims' families because we worked long and hard to put on the best case. According to the court's ruling, for all intents and purposes, the Carrs could have taken a machine gun to Downtown Wichita and killed scores of people and only received one conviction of capital murder."
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett today released the following statement on the Kansas Supreme Court’s decisions in State v. Reginald Carr and State v. Jonathan Carr:
“We are carefully reviewing the two opinions, which together constitute nearly 500 pages and address numerous legal issues. Some issues were decided favorably for the state, and others were not. We will work closely together in the coming days and weeks to determine the next steps that must be taken in these cases. All options will be considered. We are committed to seeking justice in this case for the victims, their families and the community.”
We, at the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP), continue to be shocked and horrified by the deeds of the Carr brothers, who were convicted in 2002 of multiple Wichita murders. Like every murder that impacts our communities, such crimes deserve severe punishment.
Our hearts break for the victims and their families who want to put these events behind them. Grievous wounds are reopened every time the crime gets new media attention or there is a new development related to the case.
KCADP’s mission is repeal of the death penalty and since Kansas has the alternative of life in prison without any possibility of parole for capital cases, we believe it is the appropriate sentence. Life without parole is a severe sentence that protects the community without the long, difficult and emotionally wrenching legal process associated with capital cases.
Further, many Kansans believe that life is sacred and that state-sanctioned killings are wrong for many reasons. Regardless of faith and philosophical differences, analysis of use of the death penalty shows it is not good public policy, costs more than life without parole, does not have a deterrent effect and increases the suffering of victims' families.
More information can be found on the KCADP website at http://www.ksabolition.org.