Courts and Crime

She killed her rapist after months of abuse. Advocates say Kansas governor should set her free.

BY: - January 30, 2023

TOPEKA — Sarah Gonzales-McLinn regrets killing Hal Sasko. She also regrets moving into his Lawrence home, where he repeatedly raped her until she channeled a lifetime of trauma into psychotic rupture. On a January night in 2014, she drugged her captor, zip-tied his limbs and slit his throat. “That is the moment that my pain […]

Shawnee County District Court Judge Rachel Pickering was confirmed by the Kansas Senate to a vacancy on the Kansas Court of Appeals, but her nomination provided some Senate Republicans with justification to call for a change in the Kansas Constitution to require Senate confirmation of appointees to the Kansas Supreme Court. (Kansas Reflector screen capture fro Kansas Legislature YouTube channel)

Scuffle over Kelly’s nominee to Court of Appeals foreshadows bigger fight over Supreme Court

BY: - January 29, 2023

Senate GOP's spat with Gov. Laura Kelly on Court of Appeals nominee points to renewal of constitutional feud on selection of Supreme Court nominees.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach encouraged lawmakers to pass legislation blocking foreign entities from buying Kansas agricultural land during a Thursday news conference. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas AG says bill blocking foreigners from buying Kansas land needs to be prioritized

BY: - January 26, 2023

TOPEKA — It’s time to keep China out of Kansas agricultural lands, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach said, announcing his support of legislation intended to prevent Kansas farmers from selling that land to foreign entities.  The bill in question, Senate Bill 100, would prohibit any non-U.S. citizen from buying Kansas real estate in certain areas. […]

Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, introduced a bill requiring ordained ministers and clergy to be included as mandatory reporters of suspected abuse or neglect of children. It's the fourth time Holland has sought to add church officials to other occupations, including teachers and firefighters, to the list of required reporters. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Democrat introduces Senate bill making clergy mandatory reporters of suspected abuse

BY: - January 26, 2023

Baldwin City Sen. Tom Holland introduced a bill requiring Kansas ministers and clergy to be mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect.

OPINION
The U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday a former police detective in Kansas City, Kansas, was indicted on six counts related to sexual assault of two women about 20 years ago. Roger Golubski, 69, was accused of federal civil rights crimes for assaulting victims while under "color of law." (Getty Images)

Swaths of Kansas lack written policies on exculpatory evidence, law enforcement dishonesty

BY: - January 26, 2023

Leslie Mayer of Hutchinson is convinced the Lyon County Attorney’s Office withheld evidence that would have helped her late son Travis avoid at least some of the 56 months in prison he served after being found guilty of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer at a 2017 trial. The withheld evidence, she believes, included […]

Two representatives of the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault and two from the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence asked the House Judiciary Committee to consider extending initial protection from orders for stalking, sexual assault or human trafficking from one year to a period of not less than two years and not more than five years. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas advocacy groups ask for doubling length of initial protection from abuse orders

BY: - January 25, 2023

The Kansas House is asked to grant judges authority to issue two- to five-year protection from abuse orders rather than operate an annual renewal process.

Gov. Laura Kelly delivered the State of the State speech Tuesday to a joint session of the Kansas Legislature and recommended a measured approach to tax reform and insisted on Medicaid expansion, legalization of medical marijuana and full funding of K-12 schools. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly argues Kansans deserve bipartisan progress on tax, health care, K-12 policy

BY: - January 24, 2023

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly seeks bipartisan support for a second-term agenda anchored in education, health care, tax and economic development policy.

Ottawa resident Angie Malik advocated for the creation of baby boxes during a Monday committee meeting. (Screen capture from Kansas Legislature Youtube channel)

Baby bassinets with alarms and locks offered as safe new way of surrendering a child in Kansas

BY: - January 24, 2023

TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers are debating the best way to implement baby drop-off boxes in an attempt destigmatize and create safer practices for child relinquishment. Proposed legislation would allow Kansans to safely surrender custody of their infants by leaving them in bassinets equipped with locks, temperature control and alarm systems. House Bill 2024, discussed Monday […]

Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, urged the Senate Transportation Committee to support a bill amending state law to grant restricted driver's licenses to people who had their license suspended due to nonpayment of traffic fines. The legislation was endorsed by a broad political coalition. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Broad coalition urges Kansas lawmakers to amend law on driving license revocations

BY: - January 24, 2023

TOPEKA — Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau says state law revoked driving privileges for failure to pay a traffic citation should be amended to give motorists the opportunity to apply for a restricted license so they could get to work and earn money to pay off the any penalties. Faust-Goudeau, a Wichita Democrat who led efforts in […]

Rep. Owens said he is committed to fixing issues within the juvenile justice system during a Monday meeting. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

New bill seen as first step toward fixing problems in Kansas juvenile justice system

BY: - January 24, 2023

TOPEKA — Lawmakers have begun evaluating legislation in an effort to fix years of built-up problems within the juvenile justice system. First up: A bill that could expand access to behavioral health treatment through crisis intervention centers. During a House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee meeting Monday, a week after lawmakers heard from attorneys and […]

A glass of water next to pills and the box they came in

Federal judge could decide as soon as February to yank abortion pill nationwide

BY: - January 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — A Texas judge could decide as soon as next month whether to force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pull its two-decade-old approval of the abortion pill, which accounts for more than half of pregnancy terminations in the United States. A nationwide injunction in the case, as requested by anti-abortion groups, would […]

OPINION

Kansas sex abuse law obstructs justice for young victims. Lawmakers can fix it now.

BY: - January 23, 2023

Kansas law demands an impossibility of young people: If they suffered childhood sexual abuse, they must file a civil case before their 21st birthday. This is the same state where GOP leaders currently advocate a bill criminalizing gender-affirming care for those under 21. That is, they appear to believe that Kansas youths can’t possibly be […]