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STATE OF KANSAS

BOARD OF INDIGENTS’ DEFENSE


SERVICES

ANNUAL REPORT
FISCAL YEAR 2018

700 SW Jackson, Suite 500


TOPEKA, KS 66603
Table of Contents

Table of Contents ...................................................................................................... i

Organizational Chart ................................................................................................ ii

Background Information ......................................................................................... 1-2

Administration ........................................................................................................ 3-4

Public Defender Operations ................................................................................... 5-12

Capital Defense Operations................................................................................... 13-24

Assigned Counsel .................................................................................................. 25-26

Appendix ................................................................................................................. 27

Table of Board Members......................................................................................... 28

Trial Public Defender and Assigned Counsel Cost per Case .................................. 29

Public Defender (Trial Office) Caseloads ............................................................... 30

Map – Counties Having Public Defender Availability and/or Contract Counsel ... 31

Map – Assigned/Contract Counsel Felony Cases per County................................. 32

Map – Assigned Counsel Attorney Costs and Costs per Case by County .............. 33

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Organizational Chart

ii
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services was created by the 1982 Legislature (1982 Session Laws,
Ch. 142) for the purpose of providing indigent felony defense services as required by the Sixth Amendment to the
U.S. Constitution.

The present Board succeeds the Board of Supervisors of Panels to Aid Indigent Defendants (1969
Legislature - K.S.A. 22-4501 et. seq.) which was abolished on the effective date of the 1982 legislation. With the
enactment of the act, the Board was given greater authority than its predecessor to ensure the cost-effective
delivery of felony defense services for the citizens of Kansas. The State Board of Indigents' Defense Services
exists within the executive branch of state government. The board consists of nine persons appointed by the
Governor and subject to confirmation by the Senate. Members are appointed for terms of three years each. In
addition, the board shall consist of not more than five members who are lawyers registered with the Kansas
Supreme Court, at least one lawyer member from each county in the state having a population in excess of
100,000 and at least one member from each congressional district except that two members shall be from the first
congressional district.

The state board has the following duties:

1) To provide, supervise and coordinate in the most efficient and economical manner possible the
constitutionally and statutorily required counsel and related services for each indigent person
accused of a felony and for such other indigent persons as prescribed by statute.

2) Establish in each county or combination of counties designated by the board a system of


appointed counsel, contractual arrangements for providing contract counsel, or public defender
offices or any combination thereof on a full or part-time basis for the delivery of legal services for
indigent persons accused of felonies.

3) Approve an annual operating budget for the board and submit that budget as provided in K.S.A.
75-3717.

4) Adopt rules and regulations in accordance with K.S.A. 77-415 et seq. and amendments thereto
which are necessary for the operation of the board and the performance of its duties and for the
guidance of appointed counsel, contract counsel and public defenders, including but not limited
to:

a) Standards for entitlement to legal representation at public expense;

b) Standards and guidelines for compensation of appointed counsel and investigative,


expert, and other services within the limits of appropriations;

c) Criteria for employing contract counsel;

d) Qualification, standards and guidelines for public defenders, appointed counsel and
contract counsel.

5) Prepare and submit to the Governor and Legislature an annual report on the operations of the
board.
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6) Hold a hearing before changing the system for providing legal services for indigent persons
accused of felonies in any county or judicial district if such hearing is requested by two or more
members of the board.

The board was also given the statutory authority to appoint a State Director of Indigents' Defense
Services. The director is responsible for the overall operation and administration of the agency, including the
delivery of the constitutionally and statutorily required counsel and formulation and implementation of the
policies and directives of the nine-member board. The director is also responsible for fiscal management,
personnel supervision, inventory management, and program development.

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ADMINISTRATION
The Administration Office is staffed by the Executive Director (State Director), Assistant Director, Public
Service Executive II, two (2) Technology Support Consultant II, Systems Analyst, Human Resource
Professional II, Accountant III, Accountant I, Accounting Specialist and Administrative Specialist.

State Director

The duties of the State Director are defined by K.S.A. 22-4525 as follows: “The state director of indigents’
defense services shall be chief executive officer of the state board of indigents’ defense services. In
addition thereto, the director shall: (a) supervise the operation, policies and procedures of the office of the
board; (b) prepare and submit to the board an annual report of the operation of the office in such form as
the board directs; and (c) perform such other duties as the board requires.” The Executive Director is
responsible for overall supervision, agency planning, and providing the most current and accurate
information regarding the agency to Board members, the Governor’s Budget Division, the Legislative
Research Department, legislative subcommittees, all levels of the Executive Branch, and employees
throughout our agency.

In addition, the State Director provides administrative supervision and support to contract counsel and
assigned counsel by initiating and overseeing contracts with private attorneys, reviewing and authorizing
payment for expert services and updating Board policies. The State Director directly supervises the
Assistant Director, Public Service Executive II, Personnel Section, the Chief Defenders of all offices and
the death penalty appeals and the Capital habeas attorneys.

Accounting and Auditing Section

The Accounting and Auditing Section is responsible for processing, monitoring and auditing all assigned
counsel, expert, transcriptionist and attorney vouchers and determining payments in accordance with Board
policy, rules and regulations. Beginning in FY 2002, the Auditing Section implemented dataset
submission of voucher payments to the Department of Administration. This is a paperless process that
reduced time spent on redundant data entry as well as reducing cost of data processing services. This
process has ensured more timely payments to assigned counsel and experts.

Regulations, forms, orders and instructions for expert and attorney services are posted on the agency
website. An electronic payment inquiry form allows better handling of attorney questions on payment
issues.

This section is also responsible for the monitoring and processing of defendant recoupment submitted by
the District Courts. These funds are submitted to the State Treasurer for deposit into the State’s Revenue
Accounts. This section supports the Assistant Director, who acts as program manager for the field offices,
by coordinating large purchases, office moves, travel requests, negotiating leases, and other projects that
would affect the goals of the Public Defender program.

The Accounting and Auditing Section is supervised by the Assistant Director.

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Personnel Section

The Personnel Section of BIDS is responsible for all major personnel functions and activities related to
human resource management such as employee relations, benefits, FLSA, ADA, FMLA, Shared Leave
Program, affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity, employment,
recruitment/orientation/exit interview, training, timekeeping, maintaining position organizational
charts, and SHaRP. The Personnel Section also coordinates the appointment of unclassified personnel
with the Governor’s Secretary of Appointments.

The Personnel Section is supervised by the State Director.

Information Systems Section


Two Technology Support Consultant II’s and a Public Service Executive II and a Systems Analyst comprise
the section’s FTE's. The Information Technology Section provides planning, design, procurement,
implementation, training, and support of the agency's information resources including computer equipment,
LAN/WAN connections, VPN, applications and telecommunications. With the use of statewide WAN
connections and TCP/IP remote connections in smaller outlying offices, the agency is positioned to provide
information, services, demographics and statistical data to its internal and external customers.

The Section has moved agency databases from Paradox to Access, documented accounts payable processes
and databases, assisted in the redesign and streamlining of our agency accounting systems and processes,
assisted with the agency implementation of the SMART system, updated the agency website and forms,
established an off-site COOP backup system, launched an agency intranet site, and upgraded workstations.
The IT staff coordinate a team effort to continue research for a legal case management/legal software
system that can be utilized to replace the current statistical database systems, streamline daily field office
processes of opening and closing cases, calendaring, providing case status updates, etc.

FY18 IT, Accomplishments included:


 New copier rollout to all BIDS offices
 Critical repairs to server room air condition unit
 Reconfigured COOP/DR plans
o Added drives to main backup server
o Reinstalled Windows OS and Backup Exec software.
o Reconfigured all backup jobs
o Replaced Junction City Public Defender’s file server
o Moved BIDS Jayhawk Tower offices data to new file server
o Replaced failed drives on main Topeka server and repaired the OS and Active Directory
o Replaced Cisco ASA 5505 firewall in Sedgwick and Reno Offices
o Moved SQL install and database’s to a new server
o Added hard drives to field office file servers to increase data storage
o Reconfigured and backed up the Johnson County Public Defender’s office Avaya voicemail
and phone system
o Configured split-tunneling on Administrative office Cisco ASA 5515 firewall
o Moved Kansas Capital Habeas Office to permanent location
o Purchased equipment needed for new office setup
o Installed and configured Cisco firewall and switch
o Worked with OIITS and Cox to configure internet access
o Setup user workstations and phones
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PUBLIC DEFENDER OPERATIONS

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PUBLIC DEFENDER OPERATIONS

The present Board succeeds the Board of Supervisors of Panels to Aid Indigent Defendants (1969
Legislature - KSA 22-4501 et seq.) which was abolished on the effective date of the 1982 legislation. The
first two public defender offices (3rd Judicial District - Topeka, and 8th Judicial District - Junction City)
were authorized and organized in FY 1972, and the third (28th Judicial District - Salina) was set up in FY
1973. The 18th Judicial District Public Defender Office (Wichita) was created in FY 1985, although it
began its phase-in during the latter part of FY 1984. On July 3, 1989, the 10th Judicial District Public
Defender Office (Johnson County) began accepting indigent felony appointments. The 25th Judicial
District Office (Garden City) began accepting cases in January 1994. The 27th Judicial District Public
Defender Office (Hutchinson) opened in June of 1996. The Johnson County Office opened a satellite
office in Miami County in June of 1996. In August of 1996, the Garden City Office began accepting cases
at a satellite office in Liberal, Kansas. The Northeast Kansas Conflict Office began accepting cases in July
of 1997 and the Southeast Kansas Public Defender Office (Chanute) began accepting cases in August of
1997 and a satellite office was opened in 2005 in Independence. The satellite office in Miami County was
closed that same year in favor of a contract to allow attorney FTE to devote full time to Johnson County. In
FY 2009 a conflict office was opened in Sedgwick County staffed with three senior trial attorneys to
handle conflict cases in Sedgwick County. In FY 2010, the Liberal Public Defender Office was closed due
to the inability to recruit and retain experienced attorney staff.

Third Judicial District Public Defender Office (Topeka)

This office was one of three pilot public defender programs begun in 1972. The office is currently staffed
by 9 attorneys. Support staff for this office was reduced by 30% in FY2010 due to budget cuts. Currently
five support positions assist the office including 1legal assistant, 1 special investigator, 1 administrative
specialist, 1 senior administrative assistant and 1 administrative assistant. In FY2015, this office
completed work on 1,208 cases. In FY2016, the office completed work on 1,205 cases and in FY2017,
the office completed work on 1,277 cases. For FY2018, the office completed work on 1,247 cases
including 15 “Off Grid” cases and 6 severity level 1, person felonies.

Salina Public Defender Office

The Salina Public Defender’s Office began defending the indigent in Saline and Ottawa counties in
1972. One attorney handled the trial and appellate caseload until around 1986 when a second attorney
was added to the staff. In 1988 the office was combined with the Junction City Public Defender Office
to form the North Central Regional Public Defender Office. With regionalization, the territory served by
the office was significantly enlarged from Saline, Ottawa, and (later) Lincoln counties to also include
Cloud, Mitchell, Jewell, and Washington counties in the Twelfth Judicial District. A third attorney was
added around 1990. In 1997 the board separated the Salina and Junction City offices in order to
streamline management efficiencies. The office is currently staffed by seven defenders, and support staff
that includes one investigator, one legal assistant and two clerical staff. In FY007, this office suffered a
50% attorney turnover rate, affecting the ability to complete cases. In FY 2008, the office was forced to
decline appointment on new cases for one month due to the heavy caseload for seven attorneys. In
FY2009, 1,056 cases were completed including – 9 off-grid felonies spread over four counties in addition
to 223 other cases per attorney.

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In FY2011, this office completed work on 1,247 cases, (including 11 off-grid, 14 severity level one and
16 drug manufacturing and sale cases.) In FY2012, 1,247 cases were completed including 13 off-grid, 15
severity level one and 10 Jessica’s Law cases. In FY2013, 1,195 cases were completed and in FY2014,
1,196 cases were completed. In FY2015, 1,258 cases were completed along with representation of
persons assigned to “Drug Court” and in FY2016, 1,242 cases including drug court cases were completed.
In FY2017 acceptance to the “Drug Court” program became more restrictive. However, the office
completed work on even more cases – 1,395. In FY2018, with the continued restricted entry into the
“Drug Court” program, the office completed work on 1,270 cases including 5 Off-Grid and 11 severity
level 1 cases.

Junction City Public Defender Office

The Junction City Public Defender Office was formerly part of a regional office in combination with the
Salina Public Defender Office. As of June
1997, the office became independent serving the 8th and 21st Judicial Districts. The 8th Judicial District
consists of Geary, Dickinson, Marion and Morris counties. The 21st Judicial District is comprised of
Riley and Clay counties. The Junction City Office is responsible for felony representation in the above-
mentioned judicial districts with steadily increasing caseloads in all counties. During FY2001, an
additional attorney position helped to alleviate the heavy caseload that necessitated the court to add
another judicial position. In FY2007, two additional attorney positions were added to handle increasing
caseloads due to the expansion of Fort Riley. The office is staffed by eleven attorneys, two investigators,
two legal assistants and two clerical positions. This office was unable to accept new cases in Geary
County for two months in FY2008 due to shortage of attorneys and was unable to accept new cases in
Dickinson County for one month in FY2009 due to an attorney vacancy. In FY2010, this office lost
five attorneys – a 50% turnover, and was forced to decline appointment to new cases in Geary County for
almost two months. Nevertheless, this office completed work on 1,603 cases in FY2010, including 16
off-grid, 15 severity level one and 6 drug manufacture and sale cases.

In FY2011, the office lost its deputy but the office completed work on 1,465 cases including 9 off-grid,
18 severity level one and 13 Jessica’s Law cases. In FY 2012, the office completed work on 1,475
cases. In FY2013, cases completed were 1,404 and that increased in FY2014 to 1,474 cases. In
FY2015, three defenders left the office. Nevertheless, 1,244 cases were completed. In FY2016 with a
new chief among 11 defenders, the office completed work on 1,376 cases. That number grew in FY2017
to 1,468 cases. In FY2018, the office completed 1,360 cases including 5 off-grid and 21 severity level one
felonies.

Sedgwick County Regional Defender Office (Wichita)

The Legislature authorized funding for the largest office in the state in Sedgwick County in October
1983. The office began taking cases in June 1984. The office is staffed by twenty-three defenders,
and support staff that includes one investigator, one social worker, two legal assistants and five clerical
staff. Two investigator positions and one clerical position were eliminated due to budget cuts in FY2010,
thus requiring the defenders to perform these duties at the expense of casework. Nevertheless, in
FY2010, 4,755 cases were completed, including 58 off-grid, 67 severity level one, and 7 manufacturing
and sale of drugs cases. In FY2011, 4,751 cases were completed, including 46 off-grid cases, 78
severity level one and 27
Jessica’s Law cases. In FY2012, the office suffered an attorney resignation rate of 26%. Without those

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experienced attorneys the office was forced to decline new appointments for several weeks.
Consequently 399 fewer cases were completed – 4,319 total. In FY2013, fewer cases were filed by the
county and 3,668 cases were defended through the trial level. In FY2014, 4,303 cases were
completed. In FY2015, the completed cases increased to 4,479. In FY2016, completed cases
increased substantially to 4,995. Several defenders left the office in FY2017 resulting in a decrease
in the number of completed cases to 4,775. In FY2018, the office completed 4,897 cases including 45 off-
grid and 60 severity level one felonies.

Reno County Regional Defender Office (Hutchinson)

A satellite office in Reno County was established in FY1997 and was established as a separate regional
office in FY2001. This office is currently staffed by five defenders, one investigator, and one legal
assistant. The office handled 656 cases in FY2010 including 9 off-grid, 8 severity level one, and 9 drug
manufacture and sale cases. This staffing level allows for representation on high-level felonies in the
surrounding counties of Rice, Barton, Stafford, and Pratt. In addition, the Reno County office is “on
call” for appointment on any high-level felony cases in west-central Kansas.In FY2011 with five
attorneys, the office completed work on 842 cases, including 14 off-grid, 3 severity level one and 14
Jessica’s Law cases. In FY2012, the office increased its case completion by 50 cases for a total of 829
cases and increased its production again in FY2013 by another 175 cases for a total of 1,004. In FY2014,
1,000 cases were completed. In FY2015, 946 cases were completed. In FY2016, 969 cases were
completed even though the number of cases going to trial increased. In FY2017, 929 cases were
completed. The office completed work on 1,080 cases in FY2018, including 2 off-grid and 1 Level 1
severity level felonies.

Tenth Judicial District Public Defender Office (Olathe)

The office began accepting cases in July of 1989. In addition to serving Johnson County, the office is
responsible for handling off-grid cases in Miami, Linn, and Franklin counties. Effective FY2005,
Miami County is under contract with private counsel. The office is currently staffed by fifteen
attorneys, including support staff that include two investigators, four legal assistants and three clerical
staff. The office completed work on 2,241 cases in FY 2010, a decrease of 51 cases. Completed
cases included 13 off-grid, 26 severity level one and two drug manufacture and sale cases. Effective
FY2005, Miami County is under contract with private counsel. In FY2011, the completed cases rose to
2,288 and included 23 off- grid, 20 severity level one and 12 Jessica’s Law cases. In FY2012, the office
suffered a resignation rate among defenders of 25%. Without those experienced attorneys, the office
was forced to decline new appointments for several weeks. Consequently, 174 fewer cases were
completed for a total of 2,114 cases. In FY2013, there were 2,059 cases completed and in FY2014,
2,231 cases were completed. Again in FY2015, the office suffered a high resignation rate – 57%, which
affected the number of completed cases – 2,061. In FY2016, the office completed 2,281 cases. In
FY2017 with the increase of one defender, the office completed work on 2,540 cases. The office
completed work on 2,667 cases in FY2018 including 15 off-grid and 16 Level 1 severity level cases.

Western Kansas Regional Public Defender Office (Garden City & Liberal)

The Garden City office, established in January of 1994, serves the 25th Judicial District, which includes
Finney, Kearny, Hamilton, Greeley, Wichita, and Scott counties. Finney County case filings are by far
the highest and the outlying counties require travel time which greatly affects attorney efficiency.
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The staff includes three defenders, one legal assistant and an investigator. The third attorney position
has been vacant for more than a year due to lack of suitable applicants . In FY2011 with three
attorneys, the office completed work on 464 cases including 6 off-grid, severity level one and 4 Jessica’s
Law cases. In FY2012, the office went to trial on a high number of high level cases. Consequently, fewer
cases were completed – 398 total. In FY2013, there were 437 cases completed and in FY 2014, 569 cases
were completed. In FY2015, 678 cases were completed before the chief of that office resigned to join
the county attorney’s office. In FY2016, 688 cases were completed and in FY2017 with the ongoing
efforts of the chief defender, 710 cases were completed. With only two attorneys staffing the office in
FY2018, 683 cases were completed including 7 off-grid and 20 Level 1 severity level cases.

The Liberal office opened in August of 1996 in response to requests from the Administrative Judge in
the 26th district because all private attorneys had removed their names from the appointment list due to
dissatisfaction with the rate of compensation. The 26 th Judicial District includes Seward, Stevens,
Morton, Stanton, Grant, and Haskell counties. The hourly rate paid to assigned counsel was increased
from $50/hour to $80/hour in 2006 but this did not bring an increase in the number of assigned counsel.
This office was closed however, September 1, 2009, due to the inability to keep the office staffed with an
experienced attorney.

Southeast Kansas Public Defender Office (Chanute & Independence)

The Chanute office began accepting cases in September of 1997. The office located in Chanute was
established in response to a lack of local attorneys willing to represent indigent defendants. The
Thirty-first Judicial District includes Allen, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson counties. The office is
currently staffed by three attorneys, including one chief defender, one legal assistant and an investigator.
The chief defender also supervises the Independence office. In FY2011, the office completed 483
cases including 9 off-grid, 2 severity level one and 5 Jessica’s Law cases. In FY2012, the office
completed 524 cases. In FY2013, there was a decrease of completed cases to 488. In FY2014, 591 cases
were completed. In FY2015, 556 cases were completed. In FY2016, completed cases increased to 615.
In FY2017, 557 cases were completed. In FY2018, the office declined appointment to new cases for one
month due to the heavy caseload, never-the-less, 540 cases were completed, 1 off-grid and 3 Level one.

The Independence branch office was opened on September 1, 2004, also in response to a lack of local
attorneys willing to represent indigent defendants. This office is staffed by two attorneys, one legal
assistant and an investigator and is responsible for all cases in Montgomery and Chautauqua Counties.
In FY2010, 439 cases were completed in this Judicial District, including 5 off-grid, and 8 drug
manufacture and sale cases. In FY2011, 417 cases were completed, including 6 off-grid, 4 severity level
one and 13 Jessica’s Law cases. In FY2012, the office completed work on 455 cases. The same
number of cases was completed in FY2013. In FY2014, 484 cases were completed. In FY2015, 436
cases were completed. In FY 2016, completed cases increased to 463. In FY2017, 484 cases were
completed. In FY2018, the office completed work on 465 cases despite problems with the utilities in the
office building, including 5 off-grid and 5 severity level one cases.

Northeast Kansas Conflict Office

The office, located in Topeka, began accepting cases on July 1, 1997. The office was established
primarily in response to the large number of conflict cases generated in Shawnee County and the
relatively high costs associated with these cases. This office is currently staffed by six attorneys and
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support staff that includes one investigator, one legal assistant, and one clerical position. In FY2011
this office completed work on 426 cases. These included 13 off-grid, 13 severity level one and 9
Jessica’s Law cases. In FY2012, the office completed work on 447 cases. In FY2013, the office handled
the first stages of a death penalty case and still completed work on the 496 non-death cases. In
FY2014, the office defended the pre-trial stage of two death penalty cases and completed work on a
whopping 565 cases with an increase of one defender from last year. With the addition of a defender in
FY2015, the office accepted a new capital appointment and completed 727 cases. In FY2016, the office
completed work on 634 cases with the loss of two experienced attorneys and in FY2017 completed work
on 591 cases. The office continued to suffer frequent attorney turnover in FY2018, yet completed work
on 593 cases, including 3 off-grid and 6 severity level one cases.

Sedgwick County Conflict Office

At the start of FY 2009, the Sedgwick County Conflict Office was opened to handle trial cases on
which the public defender office has a conflict. This enables additional cases to be defended cost
effectively by public defenders and replaces a private attorney contract. This office is staffed by a chief
defender, four high level defenders, one legal assistant, and one senior administrative assistant. This
office takes more cases to trial than any other office. In FY2010, the office completed work on 571
cases including 14 off-grid, 9 severity level one and 2 manufacture and sale of drug cases. In FY2011,
579 cases were completed including 12 off- grid, 14 severity level one and 4 Jessica’s Law cases. In
FY2012, the office completed work on 583 cases. In FY2013, one of the attorneys had extended family
illness to attend to, yet the office still completed 516 cases. In FY2014, 607 cases were completed. In
FY2015, 484 cases were completed while one defender was assigned to a capital case. In FY 2016,
the office completed work on 511 cases. In FY2017, the office completed work on 474 cases. The
office completed work on 516 cases in FY2018 including 17 off-grid cases and 14 level one severity level
felonies.

Appellate Defender Office (ADO)

The concept of an appellate defender had been favored by the 1981 Interim Committee in Ways and
Means and by the Judicial Council Report of that same year. In June 1985, the Board approved the
development and implementation of the Appellate Defender Office as a statewide office to represent
indigent felony defendants on appeal.

In FY1994, an appellate defense program was established in partnership with the University of Kansas,
School of Law whereby law students prepare direct appeal briefs under the supervision of an appellate
defender. In FY2005, a similar program was established in partnership with the Washburn University
School of Law. The universities provide office space, equipment and student labor.

In FY2002, the Capital Appeals and Conflicts Office and the Capital Appeals Office were established
through reassignment of appellate defenders to provide appellate defense on capital murder convictions
where the death penalty was issued and on other capital and capital eligible cases. Capital defense is the
priority of these offices. However, both offices handle conflict cases and overflow cases from the
appellate defender office.

The Appellate Defender Office is currently staffed with eighteen appellate defenders, including one chief,
and two deputies, two legal assistants and three support staff. The caseload of this office fluctuates
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depending on whether the Kansas Supreme Court decides a case that sets new precedent for current cases
and future case filings. In FY2018, the appellate office docketed 859 cases and closed the appeals of
1,332 cases. The number of attorneys has increased to allow a decreased number of case units
assigned to each appellate defender thereby assuring enough time for quality defense and preventing
any issues on appeal from being missed.

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PUBLIC DEFENDER OPERATIONS
The board supervises the following public defender offices:

NUMBER OF
OFFICE EMPLOYEES JURISDICTION

Third Judicial District Public Defender (Topeka) 14 Shawnee County


Northeast Kansas Conflict (Topeka) 9 Shawnee County.
Junction City Public Defender 17 Dickinson, Geary, Clay, and Riley
counties.
Salina Public Defender 11 Saline, Lincoln, Mitchell, Ottawa,
Washington, and Cloud counties.
Reno County Regional Defender (Hutchinson) 7 Reno County
Sedgwick County Regional Defender (Wichita) 31 Sedgwick County
Wichita Conflicts Office (Wichita) 7 Sedgwick County
Tenth Judicial District Public Defender (Olathe) 24 Johnson County
Western Kansas Regional (Garden City) 5 Finney, Hamilton, Kearny, Scott, Greeley,
and Wichita counties
Southeast Kansas Public Defender (Chanute) 5 Allen, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson
counties
Southeast Kansas Public Defender (Independence) 4 Chautauqua and Montgomery

Appellate Defender (Topeka) 23 Statewide


Death Penalty Defense Unit (Topeka) 6 Statewide
Death Penalty Defense Unit (Wichita) 4 Statewide
Capital Appeals and Conflicts (Topeka) 2 Statewide
Capital Appeals (Topeka) 3 Statewide
State Habeas Capital Defense 5 Statewide

* Those counties that appear in italics request representation for off-grid felonies and may include severity level 1
cases

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CAPITAL DEFENSE OPERATIONS

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Death Penalty Defense Unit (DPDU)

The Board of Indigents’ Defense Services established the Capital Defense Coordinator Office in FY
1995 in response to the enactment of the death penalty. The Board transferred its most experienced
attorney to the office and authorized a temporary Office Assistant I to assist. In FY 1996 the office
expanded and its name was changed to the Death Penalty Defense Unit to more accurately reflect its
mission to defend potential death penalty cases statewide. The purpose of the office is to establish and
administer procedures and to provide services that result in the highest quality defense of person’s
accused of murder when the potential penalty is death. To accomplish this purpose, the Death Penalty
Defense Unit will (1) represent all individuals, except those with which the office has a conflict of
interest, charged with potentially capital cases wherever charged in the state; (2) establish and administer
a system by which courts may appoint qualified attorneys; (3) plan and execute training programs for
staff, public defenders, private counsel, investigators, mitigation specialists and ancillary staff including
continuing legal education programs, manuals and newsletters; (4) establish and maintain a resource
library and consultation service for attorneys assigned to capital or potentially capital cases; (5)
collect and maintain statistical records regarding the use of capital punishment; and (6) establish through
contract and/or negotiation a system for providing trial counsel with competent and cost-effective
expert and investigative services needed to defend potential capital cases. In FY 2010, this office
employed four trial attorneys, four appellate attorneys, one investigator, one mitigator, four legal
assistants and one clerical staff. Additional attorneys from trial offices are called upon to handle
conflict cases.

During FY 1995, the first fiscal year following reenactment of capital punishment, ten potential capital
cases were filed with five charged as capital offenses. In the second year, FY 1996, four cases were
charged as capital, two of which were represented by retained counsel and two by the Death Penalty
Defense Unit. In FY 1997, twelve potentially capital cases arose, nine of which were charged with
capital murder. In FY 1998, ten potential capital cases were filed, eight were in fact charged capital,
two were reduced to non-capital and two were pled to avoid the death penalty. In FY
1999, nine cases were filed with potential capital charges, eight of those were filed capital, two pled to
avoid the death penalty, and one was amended to non-capital.

In FY 2000, thirteen cases were filed with potential capital charges, six of those were filed capital,
one pled to avoid the death penalty. Ten cases were completed in FY 2000: Terry Adams, Gavin
Scott, Marshall Tillman, Carsey Littlewood, Christopher Jones, LeMarco Williams, Tracy Markee, Carl
Rails, Stanley Elms, and Rodney Almaguer. Of these, two persons were sentenced to death: Gavin
Scott and Stanley Elms. In FY 2001, another eight cases were filed with potential capital charges.
Of these, only one was resolved in FY 2001 by dismissal. Of previous years’ filed cases, three cases
were pled, one case was tried and one defendant expired.

In FY 2002, three more cases were filed with a potential sentence of death and six cases were
resolved. Of the cases tried, one was found not guilty, one was sentenced to life and the other four
cases were resolved by plea.

In FY 2016 the death sentence was upheld by both the United States Supreme Court and the
Kansas Supreme Court which necessitated the establishment of the capital habeas unit and
the hiring of private attorneys with experience defending capital habeas cases. There are 13
men sentenced to death at this writing.
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Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2002 Disposition FY filed Capital Representation
Michael Bethel - Crawford County Pled 2000 DPDU
German Arellano - Wichita County Pled 2000 DPDU
Cornelius Oliver – Sedgwick County Tried/Life 2001 DPDU
Earl Bell – Sedgwick County Tried/Acquittal 2001
Contract/Conflict
Brian L. Trober – Wyandotte County Pled 2001 DPDU
Marc Sappington – Wyandotte County Pled 2001 DPDU

In FY 2003, three new cases were filed with a potential sentence of death and five cases were
resolved. Of those, one case was pled, one was tried and received a life sentence, and three were
tried and received the death penalty.

Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2003 Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


John Robinson - Johnson County Tried- Death 2000 Contract/Conflict Jonathan Carr -
Sedgwick County Tried-Death 2001 PDU
Reginald Carr – Sedgwick County Tried-Death 2001 Contract/Conflict
Chris Trotter – Wyandotte County Tried- Life 2001 Contract/Conflict
Damien Lewis – Douglas County Pled 2003 DPDU

In FY 2004, four new cases were filed with a potential sentence of death. All of the cases scheduled
for trial were continued. The retrial of Gary Kleypas is continued pending a decision in federal court.
The trial of Darrell Stallings was continued because he was allowed to “fire” the death penalty defense
unit and other public defenders had to take over the case. The trial of Errik Harris was continued because
he is the codefendant with Stallings and the prosecutor wants to try Stallings first. Two cases were
resolved by plea in FY 2004 – Uriah Beckman and Damien Thompson.

Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2004 Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


Uriah Beckman – Bourbon County Pled – Life 5/04 2004 DPDU
Damien Thompson – Barton County Pled – Life 2/04 2004 Contract/Conflict
Demetrious Hargrove – Wyandotte County Refiled in Federal 2002 DPDU

Appellate Cases Decided in FY 2004 Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


Jeffrey Hebert – Clay County Tried - Life 2003 CA&C

In FY 2005, six new cases were filed with a potential sentence of death.

Cases Tried in FY 2005: Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


Darrell Stallings – Wyandotte County Trial-Life 2002 PD
Douglas Belt – Sedgwick County Trial-Life 2003 DPDU
Nathaniel Hill – Montgomery County Trial –) 2003 DPDU
(awaiting penalty phase)

Appellate Cases Decided in FY 2005:


Stanley Elms – Sedgwick County Agreement for Life 1999 CA&C; DPDU
Michael Marsh – Sedgwick County D.P. Statute Unconstitutional 1996 CA
15
In FY 2006, four new cases were filed with a potential sentence of death: Phillip Cheatham,
John Robinson, Theodore Burnett, and Everett Gentry.

Cases Tried in FY 2006: Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


Erik Harris – Wyandotte County Trial – Life 10/05 2002 Contract/Conflict
Phillip Cheatham – Shawnee County Trial – Death 10/05 2006 Private

Appellate Cases Decided in FY 2006: Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


Michael Marsh – Sedgwick County DP 1996 CA
Statute Constitutional – USSC

In FY 2007, six new cases were filed with a potential sentence of death: Roger Ratliff, Jose
Solis, Justin Thurber, Kenton Williams, Ernest King and Edwin Hall.

Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2007: Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


Sidney Gleason – Barton County Trial - Death 8/06 2004 DPDU
Greg Moore – Harvey County Trial – Life 7/06 2005 NEKCO/Private
Everett Gentry – Sedgwick County Pled – Juvenile 7/06 2006 Private
Robert Fox – Seward County Pled 2008 DPDU
Roger Ratliff – Miami County Pled 2007 DPDU
Jose Solis – Johnson County Pled 2007 DPDU

Appellate Cases Decided in FY 2007:


None

State Habeas Preparation in FY 2007:


Gavin Scott

In FY 2008, eight new cases were filed with a potential sentence of death: Christopher
Lowrance, Tatum, Sadale Fox, Andrew Guerrero, Kendrick Shears, Charvelle Robinson, Jason
Strand, and Marvin Gifford.

Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2008: Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


Theodore Burnett – Sedgwick County Trial-Life 2006 NEKCO/Private
Scott Cheever – Greenwood County Trial-Death 2006 DPDU
Edwin Hall – Johnson County Pled – Life/Sought Death 2007 Private

In FY 2009, four cases were filed with a potential sentence of death: Branden Reed, Terrance
Watson, James Carnoali, and Joaquin DeAnda.

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2009: Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


Gary Kleypas – Crawford County Retrial-death 1996 DPDU
Michael Marsh – Sedgwick County Retrial- 1996 DPDU
life by agreement
Nathaniel Hill – Montgomery County Sentencing-life 2003 DPDU
16
Elgin Robinson – Sedgwick County Trial-life 2006 Conflict Contract
Justin Thurber – Cowley County Trial-death 2007 DPDU
Andrew Guerrero – Wyandotte County Pled-life 2008 Private
Kendrick Shears – Reno County Dismissed 2008 DPDU

In FY 2010 nine additional cases were filed with a potential sentence of death: Israel
Mirales, Adrian Burks, Marco Lomas, Louis Aguirre, James Kraig Kahler, Jason Cott, Austin
Jones, Samual Holton and Roger Hollister.

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2010: Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


Ernest King - Wyandotte County Pled-life 2007 Conflict Contract
Sadale Fox - Leavenworth County Pled-life 2008 DPDU & Private
Phillip Cheatham - Shawnee County New Penalty Phase 2006 DPDU
Gavin Scott - Sedgwick County Pled-life 1997 DPDU
Israel Mireles - Butler County Trial-life 2009 DPDU
Marco Lomas - Grant County Awaiting Sentence 2009 DPDU

In FY 2011, one additional case was filed with a potential sentence of


death: Adam J. Longoria

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2011: Disposition FY Filed Capital Representation


Kenton Williams - Wyandotte County Pled-Life 2007 DPDU
Juaquin DeAnda – Finney County Pled- Hard 50 2009 DPDU
Marco Lomas – Grant County Pled-Life 2009 DPDU
Jason Cott – Johnson County Pled-Hard 50 2010 DPDU
Roger Hollister – Atchison County Trial-Life 2010 Private

In FY 2012, three additional cases were filed with a potential sentence of death: Aundray D.
McDonald, Billy Frank Davis, Jr., Dustin Leftwich.

Capital Cases Proceeding to Trial FY 2012: FY filed Capital Representation


Phillip Cheatham – Shawnee County 2nd Van Cleave Hearing 2006 Private Contract
Terrance Watson – Saline County 2009 Private Pay and
BIDS paysecond chair
James Carnoali – Shawnee County 2009 DPDU
Adrian Burks – Wyandotte County 2009 DPDU
Luis Aguirre - Riley County 2009 DPDU
James Kahler - Osage County 2009 Private
Adam Longoria – Barton County 2011 DPDU
Billy Frank Davis, Jr. – Shawnee County 2012 NEKCO
Dustin Leftwich- Shawnee County 2012 Private Contract

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2012: Disposition FY filed Capital Representation


James Kahler -- Osage County Trial-Death 2009 Private
Adam Longoria—Barton County Trial-Life 2010 DPDU
Terrance Watson – Saline County 2010 DPDU
Pled-Second Degree Murder 2009 Private Pay and BIDS
17
James Carnoali – Shawnee County Pled- 2009 DPDU
Second Degree Murder and Rape
James Kahler- Osage County Trial- Death 2009 Private

In FY 2013, there were three cases filed with a potential sentence of death: Curtis Horn, Marquis
Marshall, and Kyle Flack

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2013 Disposition: FY Filed Capital Representation


Adrian Burks – Wyandotte County Pled Hard 50 x 4 2009 DPDU
Dustin Leftwich- Shawnee County Pled Life w/out parole 2012 Private Contract
Louis Aguirre- Riley County Trial Life w/out parole 2009 DPDU

There are 10 capital cases on appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court FY 2013:
Gary Kleypas – Crawford County 2nd Trial-Death 1996 CA
Justin Thurber – Cowley County Trial-Death 2007 CA&C
John Robinson – Johnson County Trial-Death 2003 Contract
Jonathan Carr – Sedgwick County Trial-Death 2003 CA
Reginald Carr – Sedgwick County Trial-Death 2003 CA&C
Douglas Belt – Sedgwick County Trial-Death 2005 CA
Sidney Gleason – Barton County Trial-Death 2006 CA
Christopher Lowrence – Montgomery County Trial-Life-Non Death 2008 CA
Luis Aquirre – Riley County Trial-Life w/out parole 2009 CA&C
James Kahler – Osage County Trial-Death 2009 CA

In FY 2014, there were eight cases filed with a potential sentence of death: Bryant Seba,
David Bennett, Jr, Kesha Schaberg, Anthony Bluml, Braden Smith, Andrew Ellington, Frazier Cross
and Vinh Van Nguyen.

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2014 Disposition: Representation


Marquis Marshall – Sedgwick County Pled Life w/out parole Evans, DPDU
Curtis Horn – Wyandotte County Pled Two Life Sentences Paul Dent

Capital Cases Proceeding to Trial in FY 2014: FY Filed Capital Representation


Billy Davis, Jr. - Shawnee County 2012 Manna, NEKCO
Kyle Flack – Franklin County 2013 Evans, DPDU
Bryant Seba – Pratt County 2014 Mike Brown
David Bennett, Jr. – Labette County 2014 Evans, DPDU
Kesha Schaberg – Sedgwick County 2014 Evans, DPDU
Anthony Bluml – Sedgwick County 2014 Manna, NEKCO
Brandon Smith – Sedgwick County 2014 Charlie O’Hara
Andrew Ellington – Sedgwick County 2014 Cott, WRPD
Frazier Cross – Johnson County 2014 Evans, DPDU
Vinh Van Nguyen – Sedgwick County 2014 Evans, DPDU

18
Capital Cases Decided by Kansas Supreme Court FY 2014:
Scott Cheever – Greenwood County – Reversed
Phillip Cheatham – Shawnee County – Reversed
Christopher Lowrence – Montgomery County - Affirmed

There are 9 capital cases on appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court:


Gary Kleypas – Crawford County 2nd Trial-Death 1996 CA
Justin Thurber – Cowley County Trial-Death 2007 CA&C
John Robinson – Johnson County Trial-Death 2003 Contract
Jonathan Carr – Sedgwick County Trial-Death 2003 CA
Reginald Carr – Sedgwick County Trial-Death 2003 CA&C
Douglas Belt – Sedgwick County Trial-Death 2005 CA
Sidney Gleason – Barton County Trial-Death 2006 CA
Luis Aquirre – Riley County Trial-Life w/out parole 2009 CA&C
James Kahler – Osage County Trial-Death 2009 CA

In FY 2015, there were four cases filed with a potential sentence of death: Ross Lane,
Cornell McNeal, Steven Edwards and Luis Alvarado- Meraz.

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2015 Disposition: Representation


Billy Davis, Jr. – Shawnee County Trial-Life w/out parole Manna, Spainhour, NEKSCO
Phillip Cheatham – Shawnee County Pled Life Wachtel, Oller
Bryant Seba – Pratt County Trial – 2 Life Mike Brown
Kisha Schaberg – Sedgwick Pled – Life w/out parole Evans, DPDU
Anthony Bluml – Sedgwick Pled – Life w/out parole Manna, NEKSCO
Braden Smith - Sedgwick Pled O’Harar
Andrew Ellington - Sedgwick Pled Greeno

Capital Cases Proceeding to Trial in FY 2015: FY Filed Capital Representation


Kyle Flack – Franklin County 2013 Frieden, DPDU
David Bennett – Labette County 2013 Frieden, DPDU
Frazier Cross – Johnson County 2014 Manna, NEKSCO
Vinh Van Nguyen – Sedgwick County 2014 Wicks, DPDU
Ross Lane – Shawnee County 2014 Frieden, DPDU
Cornell McNeal – Sedgwick County 2014 Rudy, SCPD
Steven Edwards – Sedgwick County 2014 Rudy, SCPD
Luis Alvarado-Meraz – Sedgwick County 2015 Manna, NEKSCO

Capital Cases Decided by Kansas Supreme Court FY 2015:


Jonathan Carr and Reginald Garr – Sedgwick County - Resentencing
Sidney Gleason – Barber County – Resentencing

Capital Cases on Appeal to Kansas Supreme Court FY 2015:


Gary Kleypas – Crawford County 2nd Trial-Death 1996 CA
Justin Thurber – Cowley County Trial-Death 2007 CA&C
John Robinson – Johnson County Trial-Death 2003 Contract
Douglas Belt – Sedgwick County Trial-Death 2005 CA
19
Luis Aquirre – Riley County Life w/out parole 2009 CA&C
James Kahler – Osage County Trial-Death 2009 CA
Billy Davis, Jr. – Shawnee County Trial-Life w/out parole 2012 CA

Capital Cases on Appeal to United States Supreme Court FY 2015:


Jonathan Carr – Sedgwick County
Reginald Carr – Sedgwick County
Sidney Gleason - Barber
County Scott Cheever – Greenwood County

In FY 2016, there were two cases filed with a potential sentence of death: Alex Brune and Curtis
Ayers.

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2016 Disposition: Representation


Kyle Flack – Franklin County Death DPDU
Frazier Cross Miller – Johnson County Death DPDU
Ross Land – Shawnee County Pled – Life DPDU
Steven Edwards – Sedgwick County Pled-Life Rudy, Smartt – SG
Camillo Ovalle – Cruz – Chautauqua County Pled – 2nd Degree DPDU
Alex Brune – Johnson County Pled – 2x Felony First Degree Contract – JO

Capital Cases Decided by Kansas Supreme Court in FY 2016


John E. Robinson – Johnson County - Death Sentence Upheld
Scott Cheevers – Greenwood County - Death Sentence Upheld

Capital Cases Proceeding to Trial in FY 2016 FY Filed Capital Representation


David Bennett – Labette County 2013 DPDU
Vinh Von Nguyen – Sedgwick County 2014 DPDU
Corneel McNeal – Sedgwick County 2014 Rudy, Smartt – SG
Luis Alvarado – Meraz – Sedgwick County 2015 DPDU
Luis Aguirre – Riley 2009 Remand DPDU
Nicholas Phillips – Shawnee County 2015 NEKCO – Dazey
Brent Carter – Sedgwick County 2015 Nika Cummings
Jamieon Wimbley – Sedgwick County 2015 Patrick Mitchell
Quincy Carter – Sedgwick County 2015 Steve Mank
Alex Brune – Johnson County 2016 Johnson Defenders
Curtis Ayers – Wyandotte County 2016 DPDU

Capital Cases on Appeal to Kansas Supreme Court: FY 2016


Gary Kleypas – Crawford
Justin Thurber – Cowley County
Douglas Belt – Sedgwick County
James Kahler - Osage County
Billy Davis – Shawnee County
Jonathan Carr – Sedgwick County
Reginald Carr – Sedgwick County
Sidney Gleason – Barton County

20
Frazier Glenn Cross Miller – Johnson
Kyle Flack – Franklin

Capital Cases on Appeal to United States Supreme Court:


John Robinson – Johnson County
Scott Cheever – Greenwood County

Capital Habeas Cases FY 2016 BIDS Habeas Counsel and Qualified Private Counsel:
John Robinson – Johnson County Cohen, Manna
Scott Cheever – Greenwood County Wachtel, Oller Jonathan
Carr – Sedgwick County Rudy, Smartt, Fisher
Reginald Carr – Sedgwick County Cline, Spainhour, Jackson
Sidney Gleason – Barton County Cline, McCausland
Gary Kleypas – Crawford County Cline, Spainhour, McCausland

In FY 2017, there were 5 cases files with a potential sentence of death: Jamal Lewis, Korrey
Rinke, Jereme Nelson, Shane Mays and Jason Tucker

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2017 Disposition Representation


Steven W. Edwards – Sedgwick County Plea Rudy, Smartt
Luis Alvarado-Meraz – Sedgwick County Plea DPDU
Camillo Ovalle-Cruz – Sedgwick County Plea DPDU
Nicholas S. Phillips – Shawnee County Plea Dazey, Asher
Curtis Ayers – Wyandotte County Plea DPDU

Capital Cases Decided by Kansas Supreme Court FY 2017


Sidney Gleason – Barber County - Death Sentence Upheld
Scott Cheever – Greenwood County - Death Sentence Upheld

Capital Cases Proceeding to Trial in FY 2017 FY Filed Capital Representation


David Bennett – Labette County 2013 DPDU
Vinh Von Nguyen – Sedgwick County 2014 DPDU
Cornell McNeal – Sedgwick County 2014 Wachtel, Oller
Luis Aguirre – Riley County 2009 Remand – Non death Chris Biggs
Brent Carter – Sedgwick County 2015 Nika Cummings
Jamieon Simbley – Sedgwick County 2015 Patrick Mitchell
Quincy Carter – Sedgwick County 2015 David Leon
Jonathan Carter 2015 Charles O’Hara
Jamal Lewis _ Wyandotte County 2017 DPDU
Korrey Rinke – Johnson County 2017 DPDU
Jereme Nelson – Harvey County 2017 DPDU
Shane Mays – Shawnee County 2017 Kathleen Ambrosio
Jason Tucker – Wyandotte County 2017 DPDU

Capital Cases on Appeal to Kansas Supreme Court: FY 2017


Jonathan Carr – Sedgwick County
Reginald Carr – Sedgwick County
21
Justin Thurber – Crawford County
James Kahler – Osage CountyFrazier
Glenn Cross Miller – Johnson County
Kyle Flack – Franklin County

Capital Cases on Appeal to United States Supreme Court:


None

Capital Habeas Cases FY 2017 BIDS Habeas Counsel and Qualified Private Counsel:
John Robinson – Johnson County M. Manna, M. Cohen, B. Costa
Scott Cheever – Greenwood County Wachtel, Oller
Sidney Gleason – Barton County C. Cline, McCausland
Gary Kleypas – Crawford County C. Cline, Spainhour, McCausland

In FY 2018, there were 8 cases filed with a potential sentence of death: Joseph Krahn, Jonathan Carter,
Keith Hawkins, Charles Rodgers, James Pavey, Pablo Serrano-Vitorino, Devonte Wash and Antoine Fielder.

Capital Cases Tried or Pled in FY 2018 Disposition Representation


David Bennet – Labette County Plea DPDU
Luis Aguirre – Riley County Re-Trial Biggs
Brent Carter - Sedgwick County Trial Cummings
Quincy Carter – Sedgwick County Trial Leon
Jamieon Wimbley – Sedgwick County Plea Motion to withdraw
Jason Tucker – Wyandotte County Plea DPDU
Jospeh Krahn – Shawnee County Plea DPDU
Jonathan Carter – Sedgwick County Trial Cotton, O’Hara
Keith Hawkins – Harvey County Plea DPDU

Capital Cases Decided by Kansas Supreme Court FY 2018


Justin Thurber – Cowley County – Remand to district court.
James Kahler – Osage County – Death Sentence upheld.

Capital Cases Proceeding to Trial in FY 2018: FY Filed Capital Representation


Vinh Von Nguyen – Sedgwick County 2014 DPDU
Corneel McNeal – Sedgwick County 2014 Wachtel, Oller
Jamaal Lewis – Wyandotte County 2017 DPDU
Korrey Rinke – Johnson County 2017 DPDU
Jereme Nelson - Harvey County 2017 DPDU
Shane Mays – Shawnee County 2017 Ambrosio
Charles Rodgers – Saline County 2017 Effenbeck
James Pavey – Saline County 2017 Bravi
Pablo Serrano-Vitorino – Wyandotte County 2017 DPDU – Trial in MO current
Donvonte Wash – Johnson County 2018 DPDU
Antoine Fielder – Wyandotte County 2018 DPDU

Capital Cases on Appeal to Kansas Supreme Court: 2018


Jonathan Carr – Sedgwick County

22
Reginald Carr – Sedgwick County
Frazier Glenn Miller – Johnson County
Kyle Flack – Franklin County

Capital Cases on Appeal to United States Supreme Court:


None

Capital Habeas Cases FY 2018:


John Robinson – Johnson County
Scott Cheever – Greenwood County
Sidney Gleason – Barton County
Gary Kleypas – Crawford County

Costs associated with the death penalty were examined by Legislative Post Audit in their “Costs Incurred
for Death Penalty Cases”, issued in December, 2003, and by the Judicial Council in their study issued in
January, 2004. The Judicial Counsel again reviewed death penalty cost issues in a 2009 study and again in
2014. Generally, it was determined that Kansas is experiencing the same issues and costs experienced by
other states that have the death penalty. Legislative Post Audit made three recommendations in their report:
The first Legislative Post Audit recommendation was to make sure the Death Penalty Defense Unit had a
sufficient number of qualified attorneys so that death penalty cases did not have to be assigned to private
attorneys. Toward this recommendation, in 2003, two attorney positions from the Topeka workstation were
moved to Wichita. Additionally, the two Wichita based attorneys can handle homicides in rural areas
without public defender offices as well as the case overflow from the Wichita Public Defenders and the
Wichita Conflict Public Defenders. In 2012, through grant funding received for training, all additional
experienced defenders who were willing to provide capital defense received capital training, expanding the
qualified attorney numbers.

The second Legislative Post Audit recommendation was to look into the feasibility of establishing a
conflicts office. Funds were requested from the legislature to accomplish that recommendation but
funding was not approved. Nevertheless, in order to provide appellate counsel in-house for each of the
Carr brothers, an additional capital appellate team was established.
The third recommendation was to look at cost control measures in other states. This was a specific
assignment to the Judicial Counsel and their finding is that other states efforts were essentially the same as
ours.

Costs will continue to rise as more and more cases are added. Only three cases have been finalized –
all three with agreed upon life sentences reduced from death – Marsh, Elms and Scott. All other cases are
continuing through the legal process to the State Capital Habeas proceedings and new cases are added each
year. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1994, a total of 151 capital eligible cases have been
filed.

Capital Appeals and Conflicts Office & Capital Appeals Office


In FY 2002, the Capital Appeals and Conflicts Office (CA&C) and the Capital Appeals Office (CA) were
established through reassignment of appellate defenders to provide appellate defense on capital murder
convictions where the death penalty was issued and on other capital and capital eligible cases. Capital
23
defense is the priority of these offices. However, both offices handle conflict cases and overflow cases
from the appellate defender office when time allows.

State Habeas Office

In FY 2015, the State habeas office was established to prepare for the next stage of death penalty
defense after a death sentence is upheld by the Kansas Supreme Court and any petition for Certiorari has
been unsuccessful for the defense. This office is staffed by three capital defense attorneys, one capital
investigation attorney, one capital mitigation attorney and one paralegal.

24
ASSIGNED COUNSEL

25
ASSIGNED COUNSEL

The 6th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution provides every person with a right to adequate and effective
representation when charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment. State statutes (K.S.A. 22-4501, et seq.)
also mandate state-funded representation when a person who has been charged with a felony is determined to be
indigent. The two primary systems for delivering these constitutionally guaranteed services are the public
defender system and a system known as appointed or assigned counsel.

The assigned counsel system of providing indigent felony defense is used as follows: in geographic areas where
it is not cost effective to open a public defender office; and in cases where the public defenders have a conflict of
interest and are therefore unable to provide defense services. However, more cases are handled each year by
public defenders and the cost per case is lower when handled by public defenders. Assigned counsel was paid at
the rate of $35 per hour and acceptance of court appointments was considered a professional duty for many years.
The Kansas Supreme Court decision in Stephan v. Smith determined that participation as assigned counsel is
voluntary. In response to that case decision, the Board increased the hourly rate for assigned counsel to $50 per
hour. In the 2006 legislative session, the payment rate became statutory at $80 per hour.

Together with the increase in the hourly rate was the direction that all counties be examined for cost effective
provision of counsel. The executive director conducted public hearings and reached agreements with the bench
and local bar for negotiated hourly rates in the following judicial districts: 29th – Wyandotte; 16th – Ford, Gray,
Kiowa, Meade, Clark and Comanche; 11th – Crawford, Cherokee and Labette; and the 9th – Harvey and
McPherson. The reduced hourly rate agreements ranged from $62 to $69 per hour. These rates allow for a
continued cost effective delivery of quality defense services to indigent persons. In FY2007, almost $407,000
was saved through the use of negotiated agreements with the bench and local bar. In FY2008, that figure was
$371,206, and in FY2009, that figure was $497,529.

In response to FY2010 budget cuts, the Board exercised its statutory authority to reduce the hourly rate paid to
assigned counsel to meet assigned counsel appropriations. The hourly rate was reduced 22% from $80 per hour
to $62 per hour effective for all work performed on and after January 18, 2010. The original Board action
continued through June 30, 2011. A second public hearing was conducted continuing the reduction through June
30, 2012, and a third public hearing was conducted to continue the reduction through June 30, 2013, based on the
reduced funds allocated for assigned counsel payments. A fourth hearing was conducted to continue the
reduction through June 30, 2014, and a fifth hearing was conducted to continue the reduction through June 30,
2015. However, the Board provided a slight increase in the hourly rate, after public hearing, from $62/hour to
$65/hour for FY2016 and increased the hourly rate, after public hearing, to $70/hour for FY2017 and for
FY2018. For FY2019, the Board increased the hourly rate, after a public hearing, to $75/hour toward the
restoration of the statutory hourly rate of $80/hour. This hourly rate proration will save $850,000 in state general
funds from the cost projected for the statutory rate, however, the adjustment to $75/hour will effect a cost
increase from FY 2018 of $850,000. During the 2015 Legislative session, based on recommendations by the
Division of the Budget and the Governor’s office, a State General Fund “Litigation Support” account was created
for the assigned counsel consensus funding in order to give the agency the flexibility to operate in the most
efficient manner to respond to case filings.

26
APPENDIX

27
STATE BOARD OF INDIGENTS’ DEFENSE SERVICES

BOARD MEMBERS IN FY 2017

MEMBER OCCUPATION &


HOMETOWN

Samantha Angell Attorney, Salina

Paul Beck Business Owner, Ness City

Beverly Gossage Business Owner, Lawrence

Jeff Leiker Attorney, Kansas City

Braden Perry Attorney, Kansas City

Roman Rodriguez Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman Ron Estes, Wichita

Ron Wurtz Attorney, Topeka

28
Trial Public Defender and Assigned Counsel Cost Per Case

29
Trial Office Caseloads

30
FY 2018
Shaded Counties Have Public Defender Availability and/or Contract Counsel

Shaded counties reflect coverage

31
FY 2018 Felony Cases per County
Defended by Assigned and Contract Counsel

32
FY 2018 Cost per Case by County
For Assigned and Contract Counsel

33