Carr case could come with hefty price tag

WICHITA, Kansas – Now that the death sentences of Reginald and Jonathan Carr overturned, officials on the state level are once again toying with the idea of what should be done.

“As long as it’s on the books and the people of the state of Kansas elect the legislators who believe that it should be on the books, it’ll remain so, it’ll be enforced by prosecutors around the state,” said Marc Bennett, Sedgwick County District Attorney.

But what is the cost?

Providing a public defense for the Carr brothers in 2002 carried a hefty price tag.

Defending Reginald Carr cost the state nearly $570,000, and his brother Jonathan Carr cost just over $566,000.

Bringing the grand total to more than $1 million dollars on their case alone.

“We don’t make decisions based upon the easiest route to go or those kinds of things,” said Bennett. “We follow the law and apply it to the case at hand and do the best we can to stay within the confines of the law.”

It has state lawmakers looking at other options.

This past session, one Republican, Jeff King, pushed to shorten the appeal process.

While others say with an imperfect justice system, the cost alone is enough reason to pursue more drastic changes.

“If we would replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole and sincerely mean no parole, we can in my view accomplish what needs to be done,” said Steven Becker, Kansas House Republican.

Representative Becker says he will be pursuing legislation to have the death penalty abolished next session.

Independence Republican Jeff King says he will push next year to expedite the appeals process..

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