Court-appointed lawyers in Kansas say they need more money to defend high-profile murder cases, like the Carr brothers from Wichita. The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the death penalty sentences handed down in that case and in another Kansas murder case. Because of the ruling, court-appointed attorneys will have to continue working on those cases, and that will take more money. Patricia Scalia is with the Kansas Board of Indigent Defense Services.
“This is a first for Kansas. Staff are not experienced, therefore they do not meet the standards established by the American Bar Association. Outside help is needed,” says Scalia.
Scalia is requesting more than $500,000 in additional support for the current fiscal year.
“We’ve got attorneys who have never seen this case before needing to get entirely up to speed on something that has proceeded over the course of 10 and more years,” says Scalia.
Scalia says staff in the agency will be trained while working with the outside attorneys. That means there should be agency staff in the future capable of handling these types of cases.