The Kansas attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review three recent decisions that overturned convictions or sentences in Kansas criminal cases – including one in Sedgwick County.
In June the state’s high court said it was unconstitutional and “cruel and unusual punishment” to impose lifetime parole on a juvenile convicted of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The ruling stemmed from the case of Bryce Dull, who pleaded guilty to a 2009 sexual assault on a 13-year-old committed when he was 17, and was sentenced to 45 months in prison on the charge, as well as lifetime supervision after his release.
The post-release term means, among sanctions, that Dull would have to register as a sex offender and report to a parole officer for life and could go back to prison for the rest of his life if convicted of a new crime.
In an e-mail Wednesday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced his intention to seek a review of the case by the nation’s high court.
He also will ask for a review of a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that vacated Kimberly Sharp’s murder conviction in the 2006 killing of David Owens in Topeka, and of a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that overturned Luis Aguirre’s capital murder conviction in the 2009 deaths of Tanya and Juan Maldonado in Riley County.
Schmidt, in his announcement, said he is “unsure the correct legal conclusion was reached under the applicable principles of federal law, so we are requesting review.”
Kansas now has three cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, he said.
Oral arguments are expected in October in the death penalty cases of brothers Jonathan and Reginald Carr, who killed five Wichitans during a multi-day crime spree in 2000, and of Sidney Gleason, who was convicted of killing a couple in Great Bend in 2004. Death sentences for the three men were struck down by the Kansas Supreme Court last year.
The U.S. Supreme Court grants only about 1 percent of requests it receives to review lower-court decisions, Schmidt said.