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Capital punishment in Kansas

Capital punishment in Kansas
Creator: Kansas Attorney General, Civil Division
Date: March 1, 1974
Staff of the Civil Division of the Kansas Attorney General's Office prepared a legal history of capital punishment in Kansas. This document includes four separate drafts, or versions, of this history. Various lists of persons executed in Kansas are also included. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia (1972) declared many state capital punishment laws unconstitutional, prompting many states, including Kansas, to reconsider their approach to the death penalty.


Harold Fatzer to Chief Justice Earl Warren

Harold Fatzer to Chief Justice Earl Warren
Creator: Fatzer, Harold R
Date: May 20, 1954
Harold Fatzer, attorney general of Kansas, wrote this letter to the chief justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, Earl Warren, three days after Warren handed down his decision in the case Brown v. Board of Education. In it, Fatzer congratulates Warren on the conclusion of the case and his well-written opinion and notes that, while he himself was personally opposed to segregation, his office had felt it necessary to "sustain the Kansas statute." He also mentions that the integration process in Kansas should be completed within two years.


Harold R. Fatzer to J. Lindsay Almond Jr.

Harold R. Fatzer to J. Lindsay Almond Jr.
Creator: Fatzer, Harold R
Date: July 13, 1951
In this letter, Attorney General of Kansas Harold Fatzer responds to a letter by J. Lindsay Almond, Attorney General of Virginia. Almond had inquired about a school segregation suit against the Topeka Board of Education. Fatzer mentions a similar case in South Carolina, Briggs v. Elliott, and states that the plaintiffs in the Topeka case were arguing that segregation violated their rights under the 14th Amendment. Virginia would later join Kansas as one of the five states represented in the case Brown v. Board of Education. This case reached the U. S. Supreme Court, and in 1954 segregated school facilities were declared unconstitutional. Attached to this letter is Almond's initial inquiry.


J. W. Cummings to Harold Fatzer

J. W. Cummings to Harold Fatzer
Creator: Cummings, J. W.
Date: November 27, 1953
In this letter J. W. Cummings, a resident of Kansas City, Kansas, appeals to state attorney general Harold Fatzer to not desegregate public schools. According to Cummings, integration would lead to miscegenation and would be the downfall of society. He writes that "we must keep our country great by not permitting a Policing action forcing communities into a like pattern, forming a state against our will. We must have the liberty of community majority choice, to accept or reject the kind of life our children live." He also believed that those causing this "unrest" were violating the principles of democracy and had been unduly influenced by Communist doctrine.


Paul E. Wilson to T. Justin Moore

Paul E. Wilson to T. Justin Moore
Creator: Wilson, Paul E
Date: June 10, 1953
In this letter, assistant attorney general Paul Wilson responded to T. Justin Moore's query about the desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Wilson writes that he is not fully informed of the current situation in Topeka, but that he believes the school board is beginning the integration process in anticipation of the court's ruling that segregation is unconstitutional. He also mentioned that some contracts for African-American teachers had not been renewed because the board felt that many white parents would not want their children to be taught by black teachers. Wilson was a defense attorney for the Topeka school board and he argued their case before the Supreme Court. On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren handed down the ruling that segregated educational facilities were indeed unconstitutional.


State of Kansas v. State of Colorado :  abstract of complainant's testimony

State of Kansas v. State of Colorado : abstract of complainant's testimony
Creator: Kansas. Office of the Attorney General
Date: August 15 - September 21, 1904
A summary of testimony given by Kansas residents in the State of Kansas v. State of Colorado U.S. Supreme Court case. The court case centered upon Kansas' claim that Colorado irrigators were using more than their fair share of water from the Arkansas River. In their testimony, numerous Kansans commented on the decline in the flow of the Arkansas River between 1870 and 1900. In 1907, the court decided the case in Colorado's favor, refusing to order Colorado to restrict its use of Arkansas River water. However, the court left open the possibility that at some point in the future the economic damage caused to Kansas by Colorado's use of the river might give Kansas the right to relief. Under this doctrine of "equitable apportionment" of economic benefits from water resources, Kansas sued Colorado in 1943. This suit led to the negotiation of the Arkansas River Compact which was approved by Congress in 1949. Kansas sued Colorado again in 1986 claiming that Colorado violated the terms of the compact. The court ruled in Kansas' favor.


Vern Miller to Honorable Dominick J. Salfi

Vern Miller to Honorable Dominick J. Salfi
Creator: Kansas Attorney General, Civil Division
Date: November 20, 1972
Kansas Attorney General, Vern Miller, of Topeka responds to Florida circuit court judge Dominick J. Salfi's request for information on capital punishment in Kansas. Jack N. Williams, Assistant Attorney General for Kansas, prepared the response. Salfi's letter and questionnaire are included. Miller's responses to specific questions are written in the margins of the questionnaire. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia (1972) declared many state capital punishment laws unconstitutional, prompting many states, including Kansas, to reconsider their approach to the death penalty.


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