Courts and Crime

Feds expand Pell Grant program for prisoners working on college degrees

BY: - August 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Prison inmates around the United States are getting the chance to do something that was almost unheard of a generation ago: pursue a college degree while behind bars and with financial support from the federal government. Inmates in 42 states and Washington, D.C., can now get federal grants to work with colleges and […]

A coalition of juvenile justice reformers eager to advance alternatives to incarceration in Kansas share skepticism about wisdom of Legislature and governor cutting $21 million from community program fund. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Juvenile justice reformers seek return of $21M cut from Kansas intervention program fund

BY: - August 27, 2021

A decision by the Legislature and governor to cut $21 million in juvenile justice reform funding threatens advancement of incarceration alternatives.

The Kansas Supreme Court issued a stay of a ruling by a Johnson County judge who declared the state's new emergency management law unconstitutional. The attorney general is appealing the lower court decision. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Supreme Court issues stay of lower court’s rejection of emergency management law

BY: - August 24, 2021

Kansas Supreme Court grants attorney general a stay to appeal controversial Johnson County case striking down state's new emergency management law.

Criminal justice panel explores racial dynamics of traffic stops, gang lists in Kansas

BY: - August 23, 2021

TOPEKA — A Kansas criminal justice reform panel is highlighting the dynamic between communities of color and law enforcement during traffic stops as an area in need of immediate attention from lawmakers. Several members of the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission subcommittee on race and the criminal justice system said last week that while traffic […]

AG candidate Mattivi convinced Kansans eager to elect seasoned law enforcement officer

BY: - August 23, 2021

GOP candidate for attorney general Toni Mattivi, a former federal prosecutor, is convinced Kansans want an experienced law enforcement officer in that job.

Laura Howard, secretary for the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, settled with a coalition of civil rights organizations to improve opportunity for people in specialized nursing homes for the mentally ill to reside and receive improved services in community-based housing. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Judge orders Kansas to pay nearly $2.3 million in legal fees and expenses in child welfare lawsuit

BY: - August 20, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas must pay nearly $2.3 million in attorney fees and expenses to the groups that filed a lawsuit regarding problems with the state’s foster care system, a federal judge ruled Thursday. Parties involved in the lawsuit reached a settlement approved by U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree in January but continued to fight over […]

Sen. David Haley, a Democrat on the Legislature's task force on DNA evidence related to closed or cold cases, said Kansas officials should set the standard for distribution to prosecutors, law enforcement and defense attorneys relevant matches from DNA testing databases. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Task force crafting procedures for handling DNA database hits in cold, closed cases

BY: - August 20, 2021

A Kansas task force working to improve sharing of DNA evidence in criminal cases wants to improve training of lawyers about access to database information.

Supreme Court allows pursuit of DNA testing by convicted Cowley County murderer

BY: - August 13, 2021

Kansas Supreme Court decides 2020 law grants district courts authority to consider requests for post-conviction DNA testing even if case remains on appeal.

A Phillips County jury awarded landowners $134,000 after a prominent Kansas hog producer illegally installed pipe on their property to transfer liquified waste from a confined-animal facility so it could be sprayed on fields from irrigation pivots. A judge hasn't set punitive damages against Terry Nelson and Julia Nelson of northcentral Kansas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Phillips County jury sticks hog producer with $134,000 judgment in rare trespassing case

BY: - August 5, 2021

Prominent Phillips County hog producer hit with $134,000 jury judgment after trespassing on neighbors' land to install pipe to carry liquified hog waste to fields.

Former D.A. faces ethics complaint for failing to stop misconduct in Topeka murder trial

BY: - August 4, 2021

TOPEKA — Former Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor faces an ethics complaint for prosecutorial misconduct by his assistant during the 2012 murder trial of Dana Chandler. The complaint filed Wednesday by Alma attorney Keen Umbehr is based on a panel’s conclusion that Jacqie Spradling should be disbarred for a deliberate pattern of misconduct, including […]

Kansas AG pushes state Supreme Court to maintain limit on COVID-19 powers

BY: - August 3, 2021

TOPEKA — Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt is asking the state’s highest court to intervene and clarify what he called an unnecessary and confusing ruling on new legislation concerning the Kansas Emergency Management Act. Schmidt announced Tuesday he had requested the Kansas Supreme Court put a hold on a recent lower court ruling and maintain […]

An undetermined number of older Kansas license plates are losing their skins and raising the prospect of motorists being ticketed because law enforcement unable to distinguish the numbers and letters. (Submitted)

Older raised-letter Kansas license plates subject to distortion from surface blisters

BY: - August 3, 2021

More than 1 million old Kansas license plates are in jeopardy of peeling, and motorists in the state are legally responsible for securing replacements for damaged plates.