Kansas lawmakers wisely sidelined ‘kill people faster’ bill

lethal injectionThe 20th anniversary of Kansas’ revived death penalty came and went last month, with the state still having performed no executions since 1965. Kansas is due another thorough legislative re-examination of whether it should have capital punishment at all, especially after last week’s lethal-injection debacle in Oklahoma. The trouble that state and others are having acquiring execution drugs is among the arguments for repeal, as are the high costs of death-penalty prosecutions. But at least Kansas lawmakers last week sidelined what some have been calling the “kill people faster” bill, which would have set arbitrary time limits on death-penalty appeals. As Mary Sloan, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty, told The Eagle editorial board, the bill included “things that really were very concerning if you are worried about innocent people being executed” – something that should concern every Kansan, especially given the many death-row exonerations nationally. She added: “When we’re talking about matters of life and death in public policy, you really need to be careful.”