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Supreme Court Rules in Kansas Death Penalty Cases

Associated Press - January 20, 2016 9:37 am

A Shawnee County judge declared a mistrial on a murder charge against a Topeka man involved in fatal road-rage confrontation.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Kansas officials seeking to reinstate the death penalty for three men, including two brothers convicted in a crime spree known as the “Wichita massacre.”

In an 8-1 ruling, the justices say the Kansas Supreme Court was wrong to overturn the sentences of Jonathan and Reginald Carr, and Sidney Gleason, who was convicted in a separate case.

The state court said juries in both cases should have been told that evidence of the men’s troubled childhoods and other factors weighing against a death sentence didn’t have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The lower court also had ruled that the Carr brothers should have been sentenced separately.

The Supreme Court says the Kansas court’s reasoning was flawed on both counts.