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Crime and Courts

Kansas Supreme Court Reconsiders Death Penalty for Wichita's Carr Brothers

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Editor's note: This post was updated at 4:00 p.m. 

Attorneys for two convicted murderers argued Thursday that the Kansas Supreme Court should overturn their death sentences. Jonathan and Reginald Carr were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000.

Sarah Ellen Johnson, an attorney representing Jonathan Carr, called the original proceedings 15 years ago “filled” with errors to the point where it wasn’t a fair trial.

“Did the accumulation of errors have any effect on the jurors’ verdict? I don’t see how it couldn’t have,” Ellen Johnson said.

Attorney Debra Wilson argued that one of the errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson asked.

Attorneys for both brothers pointed to the fact that they were tried and sentenced together as one of the problems. However, David Lowden, arguing for the state of Kansas, said the issues in question would not have affected the outcome.

“Any error…pales in comparison to the strength of the evidence,” Lowden said.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said some of the alleged problems at the trial were not actually errors at the time. He said legal precedent has changed.

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bennett said the long time frame is to make sure the process is careful and accurate.

“It is a slow process by design. I don’t think that there is a fast track to the death chamber,” he said.

Original story from the AP:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Updated at 

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Editors

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Updated at 

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Editor

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Updated at 

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Editors

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Updated at 

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.

Attorneys for two convicted Wichita murderers told the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday that there were errors in their trials and their clients shouldn’t be sentenced to death. Those arguments were made by attorneys for Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The two brothers were sentenced to death for murdering four people in Wichita in 2000. Attorney Debra Wilson argues that one of trial errors blocked Reginald Carr from offering a complete defense.

“How reliable is a sentence of death from a jury that wasn’t given access to the information?” Wilson says.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says any errors in the trial or sentencing were not significant.

“Individually, collectively, there’s not sufficient error to overturn the death penalty verdict," Bennett says. "That’s the argument the state made today in the two separate arguments.”

This is the latest step in a long legal battle. The state Supreme Court previously overturned the death sentences for the Carr brothers, but they were later reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Story:

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to spare two brothers from being executed for four murders in what became known as "the Wichita massacre" after earlier rulings in the men's favor sparked a political backlash.

The justices began hearing arguments from attorneys Thursday in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. The brothers were convicted of dozens of crimes against five people in December 2000 that ended with the victims being shot in a snow-covered Wichita field, with one woman surviving to testify against the brothers.

The crimes were among the most notorious in the state since the 1959 slayings of a western Kansas family that inspired the book "In Cold Blood." The state has 10 men on death row, including the Carrs, but it has not executed anyone since hangings in 1965.

The Kansas court overturned the Carr brothers' death sentences in July 2014, citing flaws in their joint trial and sentencing hearing. The decisions stunned the victims' families and friends, as well as legislators. Critics launched unsuccessful efforts to oust six of the seven justices in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the Kansas court's rulings in a sometimes scathing January 2016 opinion. The nation's highest court returned the men's cases to the Kansas court for further reviews.

The Carr brothers' attorneys are raising some of the same legal questions again, arguing that the Kansas Constitution requires the death sentences to be overturned even if the U.S. Constitution doesn't. The Kansas court has the last word on "state law" issues. There is one new justice since the court last ruled in 2014.

The Kansas court previously concluded that the two men should have had separate sentencing hearings. Jonathan Carr argued that he was not as responsible as his brother for the crimes and that Reginald Carr had been a bad influence on him during their troubled childhoods.

The Kansas court also said the judge's instructions to jurors during sentencing were flawed.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a home in December 2000 and forced the three men and two women there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. The women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot. The four victims who died were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.