Governor Reiterates Support for Non-Retention of Supreme Court Justices, Calls on Davis to State His Position

The Kansas Supreme Court has repeatedly created law and refused to follow the law, rather than interpreting the law, as is their constitutional responsibility. The justices’ decision in the Carr Brothers case is just the latest example.

In Kansas v. Cheever (2013), the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision reversing a death sentence was so extreme that it was unanimously overruled by the United States Supreme Court – in a decision authored by Obama appointee Justice Sonya Sotomayor. Likewise, in Kansas v. Scott (2008), the court again reversed the capital sentence of a murderer. The current Kansas Supreme Court has been unwilling to uphold any death sentence issued by a Kansas jury.

The only contrary view in any of these cases was that of Justice Nancy Moritz, who dissented from the Carr decision just as she was about to leave the Court for an Obama appointment to the federal bench. She noted that “Simply put, 12 of Reginald Carr’s peers – jurors sworn to uphold the law and impose the death penalty if warranted – heard overwhelming and convincing evidence of heinous and atrocious acts committed by Reginald Carr” and that “The people of Kansas, through the Legislature, enacted a death penalty scheme that comports with the Eighth Amendment and demonstrates the people’s collective belief that death is the appropriate punishment for murder in certain circumstances.”

Because the Kansas Supreme Court has lost its way, Governor Brownback is pleased to support Kansans for Justice’s effort to non-retain Justices Eric Rosen and Lee Johnson and calls on Paul Davis to state his position.

Paul Davis has supported the Court throughout his career. As someone who was lobbying for the Kansas Bar Association, fighting against court accountability in the Legislature, and having his campaign for governor enjoy fundraising opportunities at the home of a Kansas Supreme Court Justice, it is clear that Davis would select Justices that perpetuate this problem rather than fix it. All Kansans, but especially those who are victims of these kinds of terrible crimes, deserve better.