kahler v kansas blog

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A fair portion of the majority opinion seemed to be trying to pretend Kansas didn’t.A wrinkle for his argument though is the fact that Kansas allows consideration of these factors at sentencing such that a Kansan defendant who asserts an insanity mitigation at sentencing can accrue the same sentencing outcome/conditions as a similarly situated defendant in another state who asserts this defense at the guilt phase. But when Kansas made insanity a legal fact that negates mens rea rather than a fact that excuses criminal responsibility, Kansas essentially assumed the burden of affirmatively proving the defendant’s insanity. If that is indeed the case, then I think it makes it a little easier to come out in the state’s favor. [A] state rule about criminal liability—laying out either the elements of or the defenses to a crime—violates due process only if it "offends some principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental." The outcome was predictable, but it reached its result in a particularly odd way. Once again, clear responses were not forthcoming. Kahler raised his mental illness—chiefly depression, but also several personality disorders—at trial. It fits within the broad principle established. Justice Elena Kagan tried to probe the limits of Kansas’s argument, asking if a state could abolish other venerable defenses such as duress. In Clark v. Arizona, 548 U.S. 735, this Court catalogued the diverse strains of the insanity defense that States have adopted to absolve mentally ill defendants of criminal culpability. Once a defendant has been found guilty of a crime, the impetus is to punish them not commit them. Due Process and the Criminal Law: A Few Thoughts on Kahler v.Kansas An important Supreme Court decision on how much criminal law doctrine is constitutionally required. She responded that, while the Court should not choose one of the competing formulations to impose uniformly on the states, it should recognize a bedrock constitutional minimum above which the states are free to experiment.October 8, 2019 by Robert BlackJustice Stephen G. Breyer wanted to focus on the policy rationale behind Kansas’s system. I haven't looked closely at the history myself, and both sides agreed that the ultimate question was the clarity of the historical materials. Kahler’s brief calls the Kansas statute “a misinformed reaction to a pair of headline-grabbing cases.” That seems like a false step. Particularly when a change is somewhat based in morality it can’t be a one way racquet where you can only get more lenient. That isn’t an insanity defense that is a garden variety defense.Once you look at it this way, it makes no sense to say that due process required Kansas to adopt an affirmative insanity defense rather than treat insanity as a garden-variety failure-of-proof defense.

First, at the level of "broad principle," was the general doctrine historically established? The outcome is the same in his case.I think this case raised two constitutional questions: (1) whether a state may abolish insanity as a separate affirmative defense (2) whether a state may craft a test for insanity that asks merely whether the defendant was cognitively incapacitated.An encounter between militias in Louisville shows the enduring practical and symbolic importance of the right to armed self-defense.Here's the key passage that frames the Court's approach:Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independentThe case seems simple to me — but then, I’m not a lawyer, just a simple Kansan. An affirmative answer, though not unheard of, is rare. The case revolves around the “insanity defense,” an ancient doctrine under which people who committed crimes because of their severe mental illness would not be held legally culpable. The traditional insanity defense would excuse both killings, while Kansas’s law would excuse the former but not the latter, and Breyer wanted to hear why it made sense to treat these two defendants differently.
The $600 per week benefits boost will expire on July 31.I'll first explain the Court's reasoning, and then I'll offer some thoughts of my own on it.Wasn’t this a death penalty case?I agree with breyer’s reading for a change (not having done my Owen deep dive into the historical materials). Justice Elena Kagan joined the five Republican-appointed justices in Kahler v. Kansas to uphold a murder conviction and death sentence for James Kahler, who killed his estranged wife and her family. Instead, a mentally ill defendant may try to argue that, because of their mental illness, they lacked general criminal intent, and therefore that the prosecution has failed to prove its case—but that’s it.

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kahler v kansas blog