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Kansas High Court Upholds Death Penalty For John E. Robinson, Sr.

Kansas Law Enforcement photo

The Kansas Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of a convicted serial killer Friday. And the state’s Attorney General considers the decision a big victory.

Robinson was accused of killing seven women and a teenage girl in Kansas and Missouri, and the case received national attention 15 years ago when the bodies of some of the women were discovered in barrels on Robinson’s property and in a rented storage space.

More significant to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt was the fact that this was the first time the state Supreme Court had upheld a death sentence since capital punishment was reinstated in 1994.

“This is obviously a significant departure from prior events, and it is encouraging,” said Schmidt

Schmidt said he plans to carefully study the court decision to determine its exact implications in death penalty cases.

The last executions carried out in Kansas took place in 1965.  Four men were executed that year – among them Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the subject of Truman Capote’s bestselling novel In Cold Blood.

Steve Bell is the afternoon newscaster at KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at steve@kcur.org.

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