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The Kansas Supreme Court issued the following published decisions July 17, 2020

17 Jul 2020 1:57 PM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)


The Kansas Supreme Court issued the following published decisions July 17, 2020

Appeal No. 119,359: State of Kansas vs. Billy J. Hill 

Summary calendar; no oral argument

Hill is serving a hard-25 life sentence after pleading no contest to murder and other charges in 2000 in Osage County District Court. The Supreme Court held he failed to establish excusable neglect required by law in order to withdraw his plea outside the one-year statute of limitations.

Appeal No. 120,600: State of Kansas vs. Jerome Edwards 

Summary calendar; no oral argument

The Supreme Court affirmed a Shawnee County district judge's denial of Edwards' request for a new trial on the basis of post-conviction DNA testing. Edwards was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder for the 1996 shooting death of Donnie Smart. Seventeen years after Edwards' conviction, his request for post-conviction DNA testing of evidence was granted. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and a private laboratory both tested the evidence. No DNA conclusively put Edwards at the scene, but some samples were not of sufficient quality to identify the individual who left the sample. Edwards unsuccessfully requested a new trial on the basis of the DNA results. The Supreme Court held the district judge did not abuse her discretion by denying his request. Because of the strong non-DNA evidence against Edwards, the district judge reasonably concluded there was no reasonable probability the DNA evidence would have changed the original trial's outcome.

Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today


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