Category Archives: Updates

The Legislative Session isn’t over yet – We must stay vigilant!

We are in the final stages of the 2014 Legislative Session and we here at KCADP have spent the bulk of our time fighting against a poorly thought-out bill – Senate Substitute for House Bill 2389.

 

This bill intended to accelerate the death penalty execution process.  Its own process through the legislature involved a “gut-and-go” maneuver where the language from an already approved bill was replaced with something else.  This technique would have prevented the House from having any input on the bill, but working together, you made sure that wasn’t the case by bringing attention to this ill-advised and dangerous bill.  The House heard you and responded by rejecting the Conference Committee report and sending the bill back down the legislative hill…but it’s not over until the last day, so this IS NOT OVER!!

 

There is still a possibility that the proponents of this bill will try to get it through.  Stay vigilant and continue to contact  Conference Committee House members Rep. Rubin  (johndotrubinathousedotksdotgov)  , (785 296-7690); Rep. Gonzales  (ramondotgonzalezjrathousedotksdotgov)  , (785 296-7500); and Rep. Pauls  (jandotpaulsathousedotksdotgov)  , (785 296-7657); along with your  House Representative (find your Representative here) and urge them to OPPOSE HB 2389!

 

Together we can end the death penalty and defeating this bill is a good start!

KCADP is Springing into Action!

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Check out our Spring Newsletter to see what we have been up to!

Read the entire Newsletter here and as always, stay tuned to our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed for breaking abolition news and information!

 

We all here at KCADP would like to thank you, our loyal members, for your incredible support!  With your help, we will make Abolition in Kansas a reality!

THANK YOU!

 

Advocate Update for HB 2389

 

Thank you all so much for your strong advocacy against Senate Substitute for  HB 2389!

 

As a result of many calls for the House to have its voice heard on  this very important issue, here’s what happened Saturday:

 

A motion by Representative  Rubin to adopt the Conference Committee report to “agree to disagree” on HB  2389 did NOT prevail, meaning HB 2389 will remain in Conference. The 63 “NO”  votes from the House on this motion shows strong support for allowing the House  to fully review, debate, and consider for itself, the important issues involved  in “reforming” the appeals process.

 

Representative Becker  (stevendotbeckerathousedotksdotgov)  , Representative Jennings  (russdotjenningsathousedotksdotgov)   and Representative Carmichael  (johndotcarmichaelathousedotksdotgov)   all  spoke regarding this bill to urge that the motion be defeated.  Please let  them know you appreciate their leadership.

 

Though this motion vote is encouraging and a step in the right direction, we  must remain diligent! Please contact your local representative and urge him or  her to oppose HB 2389! you can find  your representative here.

 

Thank you for you continued support and action!

 

ACT NOW – HB2389 Moves to the House

 

As Senate Substitute for HB 2389 (previously SB 257) moves to the House, it has been referred to a Conference Committee (three members of the House and three members of the Senate.)  The Conference Committee will hold an Informational Hearing on March 5th at 1:30 pm, in Room 152 S.

 

NOW is the time to take action! Please contact each member of the commitee and express your opposition and also contact all members of the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee.

 

The Conference Committee members are Rep, John Rubin785 296-7690Rep. Ramon Gonzalez,785 296-7500Rep. Janice Pauls,785 296-7657Sen. Jeff King,  785-296-7361Sen. Greg Smith785-296-7367; and Sen. David Haley785-296-7376.

 

The Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee members are Rep. John Rubin785 296-7690Rep. Ramon Gonzalez785 296-7500Rep. Janice Pauls620-663-8961;  Rep. Steven Anthimides785-296-3971Rep. Steven Becker785 296-7196Rep. Rob Bruchman785 296-7644Rep. Larry Campbell785 296-7632Rep. Blaine Finch785 296-7655Rep. Gail Finney785 296-7648Rep. Brett Hildabrand785 296-7659Rep. Russell Jennings785 296-7196Rep. Melanie Meier785 296-7650; and Rep. Tom Moxley785 296-7689.

 

Please join us at the hearing and show the Committee that Kansans oppose this bill that rushes the process and increases the chances of executing the innocent.

 

Read the facts about HB 2389 here!

 

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact your area coordinator or call the office.

 

Thank you for your continued support and action!

 

Calling all Advocates! Senate to vote tomorrow!

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We have confirmed that the Senate will vote tomorrow, Wednesday, February 12th, on SB257/HB2389! 

 

Read the facts about SB257/HB2389 here.

 

Please join us tomorrow at 2:30pm, in the Senate Chambers, and show your opposition to this bill!

 

KCADP staff will hand out stickers so the Senate will be able to see on which side of this issue we stand!

 

If you have not already contacted your senator, NOW is the perfect time!  Find your senator here and urge him or her to oppose this bill!

 

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow! If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office.

 

Senate to vote on SB 257/HB 2389!

SB257HB2389 Sticker

 

The Kansas Senate will vote on SB 257/HB 2389 very soon! Read the facts about SB257 here.  However, due to the inclement weather we have had over the last week, the Kansas Legislature is running a bit behind of schedule.  We do know that this vote will take place at 2:30pm, but unfortunately at this point, we are unable to confirm a specific date for this vote.

 

Once the vote is scheduled we will send you another alert, giving you plenty of time to plan to join us at the Capitol and show the Senate that we oppose this bill! Remember, you can always listen to the live proceedings at the Capitol by clicking this link then clicking on the House or Senate link under theLive Audio Broadcast heading.

 

We know many of you have taken the time to contact your senator to urge them to oppose this bill and we thank you! If you haven’t had the chance to contact your senator yet, NOW is the perfect time!  Find your senator here.

 

Please note that SB 257/HB 2389, though dealing with the issue of review and appeals in death penalty cases, does NOT affect repeal of the death penalty.

 

SB126, which would repeal the death penalty, had a hearing in January, and had strong and compelling testimony in favor of repeal. Senate Bill 126 is not currently scheduled for a vote, but we will keep you updated on any progress.

 

Please stay turned to our website and Facebook page, as we will keep you updated with the most current information!

Update on SB 257

 

The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Monday January 27, 2014, to move forward SB 257, which limits the appeals process in death penalty cases.  During this process, SB 257 was “grafted” onto an available House bill and it is now referred to as HB 2389.

 

For all of you that attended the hearings and  contacted Senate Judiciary Chair Jeff King and any other members of the Judiciary committee, we say thank you!  But our work must continue.   Please contact your State Senator and ask him or her to stop any effort to pass HB 2389/SB 257.  You can find your senator here.

 

This legislation takes an already flawed death penalty and rushes the appeals process which creates an even greater risk of executing the innocent.  This practice is ill advised, expensive and unnecessary. Click here to read the facts on HB 2389/SB 257 and don’t hesitate to contact our office with any questions or feedback.

 

We will keep you posted on any movement, but your legislators will be at the heart of this process so please let us know what you are hearing!

 

Action Alert: SB 257 Could Threaten Innocent Lives!

 

Thank you to everyone who came yesterday to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the death penalty and invited others to attend. We had a great turnout from KCADP’s membership! Now we’re turning our attention to another critical hearing this coming week.

On Tuesday, January 21, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the death penalty again at a hearing on SB 257. This bill is a dangerous proposal that could threaten innocent life by limiting the appeals and safeguards in capital cases. If you can make it, please come to this hearing and show your opposition to this bill:

  • WHAT: Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on death penalty
  • WHEN: Tuesday, January 21, 10:30am
  • WHERE: Room 346S at the Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Topeka

Now is an important time to call Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff King at 785-296-7361 and urge him to OPPOSE SB 257 (you also can email him at JeffdotKingatsenatedotksdotgov  (JeffdotKingatsenatedotksdotgov)  ). In addition, click here to see if your senator sits on this committee and, if so, contact them too.

Here are some of the major flaws with SB 257 to share Sen. King:

  • Making other criminal cases languish in the criminal justice system is no way to fix the death penalty. Under SB 257, appeals in all cases must wait in line behind death penalty cases to receive their day in court. As a result, this proposal delays finality to victims of rapes, non-capital homicides, kidnappings, and other serious crimes. Also, individuals wrongfully convicted of non-capital crimes will spend more time in jail as their appeals are delayed.
  • The burden for proving innocence is unreasonably high. Unless a defendant proves by “clear and convincing evidence” his or her innocence, a court cannot grant relief and stop an execution according to SB 257. Meeting this high standard is difficult in court, especially in cases that lack DNA evidence. So even if it is more than likely that a defendant is innocent, that is not sufficient for a court to stop an execution.
  • Shortening appeals is dangerous given how long it often takes for evidence of innocence to emerge. SB 257 puts forward a number of provisions that would limit the time available for appeals in capital cases. These changes significantly raise the risk of executing an innocent person. Of the 143 individuals sentenced to death and later exonerated in the US since 1973, it took on average over 10 years for them to prove their innocence, and in some cases the wait was 20 or 30 years.

Please contact Sen. King at 785-296-7361 and urge him to oppose SB 257. Now is not the time for Kansas to pass legislation that likely will have the effect of threatening innocent life.

Thank you,

Mary Sloan

KCADP Executive Director

Thank you Vicki Schieber!

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Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our Annual Abolition Conference, as well as, Vicki’s other speaking events at Benedictine College and Pittsburg State University!

KCADP would like to especially Thank to Vicki Schieber and family for making the trip to Kansas!

Also, don’t forget to click here and download all the materials presented at the Abolition Conference! Always stay informed!

Why I Oppose the Death Penalty–Will Stewart Starks

 

Will Stewart-Starks is just one of many Kansans who are opposed to the death penalty.  Will is the Kansas State Chair of Young Americans for Liberty, and he is concerned with issues of innocence, cost and morality.  Watch the video below to hear Will talk about why he thinks Kansas should replace the death penalty with life without parole.

 

 

 

Want to share why you oppose the death penalty?  You can submit your story using this online form, or contact a KCADP organizer at infoatksabolitiondotorg.