Friday, September 3, 2010

We will not be seeking the death penalty

Thanks to Donna Schneweis of Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty for alerting us to this news story from Kansas, which mentions a victim's family's opposition to the death penalty:

ATCHISON, KAN - A Kansas man will face capital murder charges, but not the death penalty, in what prosecutors say was the contract killing of a Atchison County grandmother, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Roger Hollister, 58, of Sabetha, is accused of killing Patricia Kimmi, who disappeared from her Atchison County home last November. In court, prosecutors presented evidence that Hollister killed Kimmi as part of a contract or agreement, and a witness testified that Hollister demanded $80,000 in payment from Kimmi's ex-husband, Eugene.

In addition, investigators found human vertebrae and skull fragments on property belonging to Hollister's brother that DNA testing confirmed belong to Patricia Kimmi.

The judge in the case ruled that there was enough evidence in the case for Hollister to stand trial for capital murder, although prosecutors then announced that they will not be seeking the death penalty.

"It was really a joint decision between everyone," said Atchison County prosecutor Jerry Kuckelman. "We met in Topeka with the Attorney General. The decision was made based on this particular case that it was not an appropriate case for the death penalty. We will not be seeking that. We will be seeking life without parole."

After the judge's decision, Kimmi's children told reporters that the evidence they saw presented in court tested their faith, but they're satisfied they will get justice for their mother.

"Mom always said, 'We're Catholic, we're pro-life'," said Gene Kimmi, Patricia Kimmi's son. "Mom always said you can't be half pro-life, you're one or the other. She was very strong being pro-life so that was our feelings on this from the beginning."

The trial for Roger Hollister is scheduled to begin November 30th. Although Kimmi's former husband, Eugene, is not part of this case, Kuckelman says it's possible that another person will be charged in Kimmi's death.

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