Kansas' new death penalty will bring proper punishment for heinous crimes, says an attorney general candidate.
Carla Stovall says it's questionable whether Kansas' new death penalty law will be a deterrent to first-degree murder.
However, the Republican candidate for attorney general supports it for another reason -- it is a proper punishment tool for society to use against murderers.
"I believe it's the ultimate restitution," she said.
Stovall, a Topeka attorney who has the backing of Atty. Gen. Robert Stephan, faces former state Sen. Wint Winter Jr., Lawrence, and state Sen. Mike Harris, Wichita, in the Aug. 2 Republican primary. Democrats in the race are former House Speaker Marvin Barkis, Louisburg, Richard Schodorf, Wichita, and Jerry Shelor, Topeka.
Stovall, who spoke Tuesday night to the Kansas University College Republicans, said she doubted statements made by some death penalty opponents that because of a long appeals process, the state won't see its first execution for nearly 10 years.
"I'm not convinced it would take 10 years in Kansas," she said. "What I am convinced of is that's it's not going to happen very much, quite frankly."
The Kansas Legislature approved a death penalty law, which went into effect without the governor's signature last Saturday, that defines seven cases of first-degree murder where the death penalty may be imposed.
Stovall said that under the new law there aren't many cases where a death penalty would be imposed because the law is limited in its application.
Stovall, a former Crawford County attorney and member of the Kansas Parole Board, also said she supports a new law that would keep sexually violent people away from society.
Stovall said Donald Ray Gideon, who raped and murdered Stephanie Schmidt, a Pittsburg State University student after being released from prison on a rape charge, was an example of why a sexual predator law is needed.
Sexual predators need to be removed from society and placed either indefinitely in prison or in a state institution, she said.