Kansas Court’s Approval of Death Sentence Not Seen As Shift

Kansas isn’t likely to see executions soon or a shift in how its Supreme Court handles capital murder cases after it recently upheld a death sentence for the first time under the state’s 1994 capital punishment law.

Several prosecutors are encouraged by the court’s decision in the case of John E. Robinson Sr. He was sentenced to die for killing two women in 1999 and 2000 and tied by evidence or his own admissions to the murders of seven women and a teenage girl in Kansas and Missouri, starting in 1984.

But two Kansas law professors said the 415-page decision in Robinson’s case earlier this month suggests the Supreme Court will keep scrutinizing capital cases thoroughly.

A national expert said he doesn’t read too much into a death sentence standing.