TOPEKA – Kansas will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review three recent lower court decisions that overturned state criminal convictions or sentences, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.
The state will request U.S. Supreme Court review of the recent decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that concluded the murder conviction of Kimberly Sharp must be set aside. Sharp was convicted in connection with the 2006 murder of David Owens in Topeka. Her conviction was upheld by the Kansas Supreme Court on direct review but set aside earlier this month by the federal appeals court on habeas corpus review.
The state also will request U.S. Supreme Court review of two recent Kansas Supreme Court decisions, one overturning a conviction and the other partially vacating a sentence. The Kansas court overturned the capital murder conviction of Luis Aguirre, who was convicted in connection with the 2009 murders of Tanya Maldonado and their young son Juan Maldonado in Riley County. It also vacated the post-release portion of the sentence of Bryce Dull, who was convicted in Sedgwick County of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, burglary and misdemeanor theft and whose sentence included a requirement of lifetime post-release supervision upon his release from prison.
“In each of these cases, we are unsure the correct legal conclusion was reached under the applicable principles of federal law, so we are requesting review by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Schmidt said.
The U.S. Supreme Court grants only about one percent of the requests to review lower-court decisions. Kansas currently has three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and in those cases the State is briefing arguments and preparing for oral arguments expected in October. Those cases are Kansas v. Jonathan Carr (Sedgwick County), Kansas v. Reginald Carr (Sedgwick County), and Kansas v. Sidney Gleason (Barton County).