The Kansas Supreme Court heard death penalty appeals today (TUE) from two brothers convicted in a quadruple murder. Reginald and Jonathan Carr were convicted for the murders that took place in Wichita in 2000. Reginald Carr’s attorney, Debra Wilson, says her client's trial wasn’t fair because the brothers were tried together. She says that Reginald had to effectively defend himself against the state and his brother. Wilson also says her client wasn’t able to take the stand to defend himself.
An attorney for the state says some of the testimony Reginald Carr wanted to introduce wasn’t admissible in court, but he could still have taken the stand to defend himself against the allegations.
The Kansas Supreme Court is considering death penalty appeals from two brothers convicted for a quadruple murder that took place in Wichita in 2000. The court heard appeals from attorneys representing Jonathan and Reginald Carr during hearings Tuesday. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.
Attorneys for the brothers argued that that they should have been tried separately, and that trying them together made it harder to mount a defense. Reginald Carr’s attorney, Debra Wilson, also says that he wasn’t allowed to testify in his own defense.
“Reginald wasn’t even allowed to tell the jury what his defense was. There’s certainly room for reasonable doubt if Reginald had been allowed to defend himself,” says Wilson.
An attorney for the state, Kim Parker, says some of the testimony Reginald wanted to provide wasn’t admissible in court, but he still could have testified to defend himself against the allegations.
“But he made the choice not –he made the strategic choice– not to testify in this matter,” says Parker.
The brothers were convicted of sexually assaulting and then shooting to death three men and a woman while they knelt in a field in December 2000. A fifth person, a woman, was shot but survived.