Opposing sides in high court justice retention issue speak out

Supports of Kansans for Justice speak at a news conference in Wichita on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. (Photo: KSN/Merry Murray)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The controversy over whether to unseat the Kansas Supreme Court justices after they overturned the death sentences of the Carr brothers has more families of victims speaking out.

In a news conference Wednesday, the family Jodi Sanderholm, an Arkansas City teen who was brutally murdered nine years ago, announced they are joining the group Kansans for Justice.  The group wants to oust the current justices on the court.  Jodi’s killer, Justin Thurber, was sentenced to death for her murder in 2009.

“My fear is that these judges are going to overturn his death sentence, and then my family is going to be put through more torture to where then we’ll have to file with the US Supreme Court,” said Jennifer Aldridge, Jodi Sanderholm’s sister.

On the other side of the issue, the group Kansans for Fair Courts spoke in favor of keeping the supreme court justices. They say if the justices are thrown out, Governor Brownback will have the final say in appointing new judges.

“Why in the world would we give Governor Brownback the power to appoint five of the seven supreme court justices that could impact this state for up to two more decades?” asked Ryan Wright with Kansans for Fair Courts.

Kansans will decide on November 8th if the judges will retain their seats on the high court.