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Archive for Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wheels of justice

June 27, 2006

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Kansas soon will start rolling toward its first execution in more than 40 years.

Kansas last executed a criminal in 1965, but Monday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court may clear the way for the death penalty to resume in the state.

Some Kansans will applaud the court's finding that the state's capital punishment law is constitutional while others will be disappointed. As Gov. Kathleen Sebelius noted on Monday it is good that "the status of our death penalty is settled," but the ruling also moves the state closer to a punishment that still troubles many.

Eight inmates currently are on death row in Kansas. All of them committed heinous murders. The emotion stirred by those crimes overshadows, in many ways, the technical, esoteric Supreme Court argument over whether their death sentences were legal under the U.S. Constitution.

The Supreme Court has answered that question, and both proponents and opponents of the death penalty soon will be able to watch as the wheels of justice again start propelling the state toward its first execution in more than 40 years.

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