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Kansas Court Split on Key Issue in Capital Case

Associated Press - July 25, 2014 7:02 pm

The trial was marked by conflicting testimony by experts for the company and experts for affected property owners in Pratt, Kingman and Reno counties.

The trial was marked by conflicting testimony by experts for the company and experts for affected property owners in Pratt, Kingman and Reno counties.

The Kansas Supreme Court is narrowly divided over whether two brothers needed to have separate capital murder trials for a robbery and rape spree that left four people dead in Wichita in December 2000.

The court on Friday voided the death sentences for Jonathan and Reginald Carr and overturned three of each man’s four capital murder convictions.

But the court rejected their arguments that all of their 93 combined convictions should be overturned because they were tried together. The justices agreed the men should have been tried separately, yet a 4-3 majority said the error didn’t require new trials.

Dissenting Justice Carol Beier wrote that the majority was, in her words, “tempted by the siren song of retribution.” Justice Nancy Moritz wrote that Beier’s criticism was “harsh and unjustified.”

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