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Gov. Colyer Denies Pardons, Including Stevens County Woman

KSCB News - June 19, 2018 6:28 pm

Wichita– Governor Jeff Colyer announced at the Sedgwick County Courthouse the denial of 21 pardon applications from convicted criminals seeking clemency. The Kansas Constitution provides that “the pardoning power shall be vested in the governor, under regulations and restrictions provided by law.”  Under the Constitution and statutes, hundreds of applicants seek clemency from the Governor.

“Our system of law and order requires that I review and process these applications with the utmost respect for the justice system and the victims of crime,” said Governor Colyer, “This is one of the most unique and extraordinary powers granted by the people of Kansas to their Governor, and it is one I do not take lightly.”

The cases that were denied pardon involved multiple murders, rapes, child sex crimes, and drug crimes. Governor Colyer was joined for this announcement by Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett and Sheriff Jeff Easter who were both personally involved in investigating and prosecuting one of the cases that was denied for pardon.

Family members of victim’s in this case, Chelsea Brooks and her unborn daughter Alexa, were also present for the announcement of the pardon denial.  District Attorney Bennett remarked that he appreciated the Governor’s responsible use of this most important power, stating that denying a pardon in this case was the absolutely justified.

“The amount of time served by this person is simply insufficient to adequately address the gravity of the crime,” said Bennett.

“Although all of the decisions that I am announcing today are denials, that does not mean that in an appropriate case involving injustice or other justifications, I would not grant a pardon,” said Gov Colyer, “The pardon power is so significant that it should be exercised sparingly and with the most thorough review — and never for political purposes or favors.”

Only nine pardons have been granted by Kansas Governors, of both political parties, over the last 25 years.

Included in the denials was Steven County resident Kamrie Whitaker.


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