About Us

This blog is the creation of several students of UNLV as a class project and is meant to study the state of Kansas and their Criminal Justice system.

The site is named after a famous misquote of the book and movie The Wizard of Oz. In that spirit, you might have already noticed the URL is "kansascjr" instead of "kansascrj."

Popular culture states that the line by Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) from the film was either, "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto" or "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto," but the actual line is, "Toto, I have the feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

We will publish a new blog each week, so please check back often.
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Kansas Juvenile Facilities, Jails, and Prison Populations

by Aeria on November 25, 2009 5 Comments
In 2000, 2002, and 2004, the state of Kansas had 34, 39, and 35 privately run juvenile facilities, respectively (U.S. Department of Justice, 2004). Although the number increased from 2000 to 2002, going against the national trend, it did decrease from 2002 to 2004, in line with the national average. A possible explanation for the increase and subsequent decrease in privately run juvenile facilities in the state of Kansas might be that the private companies were responding to demand from 2000 to 2002, but after finding the facilities to be ineffective, did not continue in the timespan of 2002 to 2004. Another explanation could be that from 2000 to 2002, the state-run juvenile facilities improved. It is also possible that it was found that state-run facilities were more secure.

During 1999, Kansas averaged 3 inmates per correctional officer, a relatively low number compared to other states - Utah's ...
read more

The Death Penalty, Parole, Probation, and Restorative Justice

by Aeria on November 18, 2009 3 Comments


(Image taken from A Day After the Inconvenient Truth )

The state of Kansas currently has the option of the death penalty, but there have been no executions since it was reinstated in 1994. There are currently 10 people on death row, all of whom are men. Defendants can be sentenced to life without parole, and also can be sentenced to death even if he/she did not commit the murder. The method used for the Kansas death penalty is lethal injection, and after the sentence has been determined by a jury, only the governor can grant clemency.

The first person to ever be executed in Kansas was a Native American man of unspecified age named John Coon, Jr., who was executed in January of 1853. He was sentenced to death, and was executed by gunshot after being convicted of murder. The most recent execution in Kansas was on June 22 ...

read more

Jurors and Proceedings

by Aeria on November 10, 2009 2 Comments
In Kansas, a preliminary hearing is generally the first step in the pretrial process. However, a grand jury can be summoned in any county in Kansas if thought to be in the public's best interest. A grand jury must be summoned within 60 days after the petition and must be signed by 100 electors and 2% of the number of votes cast for governor in that county in the last election (Justia.com, n.d.).

(Image taken from a In this courtroom sketch of Chris ...
read more

Judging Kansas

by Aeria on October 27, 2009 5 Comments

For state high courts in Kansas, the state holds uncontested retention elections after an elected official's initial appointment. The same uncontested retention elections after the initial appointment are used in the intermediate appellate courts. Kansas selects trial court judges through different methods for different counties/districts - partisan, nonpartisan, or retention (American Bar Association).

Selecting judges through popular elections gives the people more of a say in the judicial system compared to judges being appointed. It is more democratic, and judges can't reach public office purely due to friendship with a ...

read more

The Exclusionary Rule, Warrantless Searches and the Miranda Warning

by Aeria on October 21, 2009 10 Comments

In 2004, Bradley Harrison was caught transporting 77 pounds of cocaine by a Canadian police officer. Although clearly guilty, it was ruled that the officer violated Harrison's rights for the stop and search he conducted, which he tried to justify by claiming there were issues with Harrison's license plate. Despite the improper procedure, it was decided that the exclusion of the evidence was unnecessary, and Harrison was sentenced to 5 years in prison in a ruling that would not have been possible in the American legal system (New York Times, 2008).

( Image Taken from Cartoonstock.com )

Although the exclusionary rule, which disallows evidence to be used if the evidence was collected improperly, seems to be a deterrent to police misconduct, it seems to be far too harsh and has the potential to be too large an impact on cases. The idea is appropriate, but its implementation is poor ...

read more

Policing Methods and Styles

by Aeria on October 6, 2009 3 Comments

The Law Enforcer Style of policing is a view where police see themselves as general law enforcement (Siegal, 279). These police officers see all crimes and law-breaking having equal importance, and all need to be addressed. No matter whether it is murder, rape, theft, trespassing, or traffic tickets, the police officers who relate to the Law Enforcer style of policing feel responsible for putting a stop to it. In the video posted is a real-life video where a police officer confronts a few boys about trespassing and skateboarding in an area where it was not allowed. ( Video Referenced Located Here and on our Video Reference Page )


(Image by http://www.explosm.net/)

This officer sees no crime too small to address with full force. The Watchman style of policing may have decided that these boys were cause no immediate threat or danger to anyone around them. The Crime Fighter would ...

read more

Police and Law Enforcement

by Aeria on September 30, 2009 10 Comments


On the evening of December 28, 1950, in the small town of Salina, Kansas, the Salina Police Department received a call claiming that a local liquor store was being robbed. Officers Smith and Rodgers reported to the scene to find two suspects preparing to make their escape. Officer Smith pulled one perpetrator from a car and restrained him as the other was leaving the store. Smith told his partner to watch the woman leaving the store, but the woman was able to reach the car, remove a shotgun, and fire at Rodgers. Officer Rodgers was knocked to the ground, but fired alongside Officer Smith and the liquor store owner at the woman as she escaped in the car. (Image of Kansas police officers originally from City of Pittsburg, Kansas)

The female perpetrator was able to get away from the scene of the crime, but was caught by police the following ...

read more

Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Insanity Tests

by Aeria on September 22, 2009 10 Comments
In Kansas legal statutes, it is a felony to kidnap someone and a misdemeanor to commit an act of assault. Kansas law, under Statute 21-3420, defines kidnapping as "the taking or confining of any person, accomplished by force, threat or deception, with the intent to hold such person." It further states that expressly illegal scenarios include ransom/hostage situations, facilitation of a crime, inflicting bodily injury to the victim, or interfering with a government function (Kansas Statutes, 2009) [1].

(Image By Barangay RP)

Kidnapping is listed as a level 3 felony. Statute 21-3408, describing assault, states that it is unlawful to "intentionally [place] another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm." Assault is listed as a class C misdemeanor (Kansas Statutes, 2009) [2].

Although kidnapping is not listed as a common-law crime in the list, it relates to some of the other crimes listed - one of the scenarios mentioned ...

read more

Dumpster Love and Gambling

by Aeria on September 15, 2009 3 Comments
Taking a look at the most recently available data from UCRs (Uniform Crime Reports) for the state of Kansas, which is from 2008, one statistic stands out among all others: the striking frequency of property crimes compared to all other crimes. The only crime that came close in quantity was larceny, barely 2/3 as common as property crimes. Most other crimes were at moderate levels, with the lowest being murder (113), rape (1,190) and burglary (1,684). Figures were generally lower in 2008 than in 2007, but typically by only a small margin. Although a statistic for 2008 was not available, one number that attracts attention was that in both 2006 and 2007, Kansas was ranked 6th-highest for incidents of rape per 100,000 people.

In analyzing the UCR data, some questions could be asked to help gain further insight:
  1. The drop in frequency of property crimes from ...
read more

Criminal Justice and the Wedding Cake

by Aeria on September 9, 2009 4 Comments

Samuel Walker a writer for Wadsworth CJR publishing created a model to explain the different elevations of Criminal Justice Courts which was contradictory to the "President's Commission Model" back in 1997. He dubbed it the "Wedding Cake Model" of criminal justice. Just as in a traditional wedding cake (Not like this) there are four layers of the cake. Their names, starting from the top they are: Celebrated Cases, Heavy Duty Felonies, Light Weight Felonies and A World unto Itself, respectively.

(Image Taken from Fancy Cakes Shop of PA)

read more
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Kansas Juvenile Facilities, Jails, and Prison Populations

by Aeria on November 25, 2009 5 Comments
In 2000, 2002, and 2004, the state of Kansas had 34, 39, and 35 privately run juvenile facilities, respectively (U.S. Department of Justice, 2004). Although the number increased from 2000 to 2002, going against the national trend, it did decrease from 2002 to 2004, in line with the national average. A possible explanation for the increase and subsequent decrease in privately run juvenile facilities in the state of Kansas might be that the private companies were responding to demand from 2000 to 2002, but after finding the facilities to be ineffective, did not continue in the timespan of 2002 to 2004. Another explanation could be that from 2000 to 2002, the state-run juvenile facilities improved. It is also possible that it was found that state-run facilities were more secure.

During 1999, Kansas averaged 3 inmates per correctional officer, a relatively low number compared to other states - Utah's ...
read more

The Death Penalty, Parole, Probation, and Restorative Justice

by Aeria on November 18, 2009 3 Comments


(Image taken from A Day After the Inconvenient Truth )

The state of Kansas currently has the option of the death penalty, but there have been no executions since it was reinstated in 1994. There are currently 10 people on death row, all of whom are men. Defendants can be sentenced to life without parole, and also can be sentenced to death even if he/she did not commit the murder. The method used for the Kansas death penalty is lethal injection, and after the sentence has been determined by a jury, only the governor can grant clemency.

The first person to ever be executed in Kansas was a Native American man of unspecified age named John Coon, Jr., who was executed in January of 1853. He was sentenced to death, and was executed by gunshot after being convicted of murder. The most recent execution in Kansas was on June 22 ...

read more

Jurors and Proceedings

by Aeria on November 10, 2009 2 Comments
In Kansas, a preliminary hearing is generally the first step in the pretrial process. However, a grand jury can be summoned in any county in Kansas if thought to be in the public's best interest. A grand jury must be summoned within 60 days after the petition and must be signed by 100 electors and 2% of the number of votes cast for governor in that county in the last election (Justia.com, n.d.).

(Image taken from a In this courtroom sketch of Chris ...
read more

Judging Kansas

by Aeria on October 27, 2009 5 Comments

For state high courts in Kansas, the state holds uncontested retention elections after an elected official's initial appointment. The same uncontested retention elections after the initial appointment are used in the intermediate appellate courts. Kansas selects trial court judges through different methods for different counties/districts - partisan, nonpartisan, or retention (American Bar Association).

Selecting judges through popular elections gives the people more of a say in the judicial system compared to judges being appointed. It is more democratic, and judges can't reach public office purely due to friendship with a ...

read more

The Exclusionary Rule, Warrantless Searches and the Miranda Warning

by Aeria on October 21, 2009 10 Comments

In 2004, Bradley Harrison was caught transporting 77 pounds of cocaine by a Canadian police officer. Although clearly guilty, it was ruled that the officer violated Harrison's rights for the stop and search he conducted, which he tried to justify by claiming there were issues with Harrison's license plate. Despite the improper procedure, it was decided that the exclusion of the evidence was unnecessary, and Harrison was sentenced to 5 years in prison in a ruling that would not have been possible in the American legal system (New York Times, 2008).

( Image Taken from Cartoonstock.com )

Although the exclusionary rule, which disallows evidence to be used if the evidence was collected improperly, seems to be a deterrent to police misconduct, it seems to be far too harsh and has the potential to be too large an impact on cases. The idea is appropriate, but its implementation is poor ...

read more

Policing Methods and Styles

by Aeria on October 6, 2009 3 Comments

The Law Enforcer Style of policing is a view where police see themselves as general law enforcement (Siegal, 279). These police officers see all crimes and law-breaking having equal importance, and all need to be addressed. No matter whether it is murder, rape, theft, trespassing, or traffic tickets, the police officers who relate to the Law Enforcer style of policing feel responsible for putting a stop to it. In the video posted is a real-life video where a police officer confronts a few boys about trespassing and skateboarding in an area where it was not allowed. ( Video Referenced Located Here and on our Video Reference Page )


(Image by http://www.explosm.net/)

This officer sees no crime too small to address with full force. The Watchman style of policing may have decided that these boys were cause no immediate threat or danger to anyone around them. The Crime Fighter would ...

read more

Police and Law Enforcement

by Aeria on September 30, 2009 10 Comments


On the evening of December 28, 1950, in the small town of Salina, Kansas, the Salina Police Department received a call claiming that a local liquor store was being robbed. Officers Smith and Rodgers reported to the scene to find two suspects preparing to make their escape. Officer Smith pulled one perpetrator from a car and restrained him as the other was leaving the store. Smith told his partner to watch the woman leaving the store, but the woman was able to reach the car, remove a shotgun, and fire at Rodgers. Officer Rodgers was knocked to the ground, but fired alongside Officer Smith and the liquor store owner at the woman as she escaped in the car. (Image of Kansas police officers originally from City of Pittsburg, Kansas)

The female perpetrator was able to get away from the scene of the crime, but was caught by police the following ...

read more

Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Insanity Tests

by Aeria on September 22, 2009 10 Comments
In Kansas legal statutes, it is a felony to kidnap someone and a misdemeanor to commit an act of assault. Kansas law, under Statute 21-3420, defines kidnapping as "the taking or confining of any person, accomplished by force, threat or deception, with the intent to hold such person." It further states that expressly illegal scenarios include ransom/hostage situations, facilitation of a crime, inflicting bodily injury to the victim, or interfering with a government function (Kansas Statutes, 2009) [1].

(Image By Barangay RP)

Kidnapping is listed as a level 3 felony. Statute 21-3408, describing assault, states that it is unlawful to "intentionally [place] another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm." Assault is listed as a class C misdemeanor (Kansas Statutes, 2009) [2].

Although kidnapping is not listed as a common-law crime in the list, it relates to some of the other crimes listed - one of the scenarios mentioned ...

read more

Dumpster Love and Gambling

by Aeria on September 15, 2009 3 Comments
Taking a look at the most recently available data from UCRs (Uniform Crime Reports) for the state of Kansas, which is from 2008, one statistic stands out among all others: the striking frequency of property crimes compared to all other crimes. The only crime that came close in quantity was larceny, barely 2/3 as common as property crimes. Most other crimes were at moderate levels, with the lowest being murder (113), rape (1,190) and burglary (1,684). Figures were generally lower in 2008 than in 2007, but typically by only a small margin. Although a statistic for 2008 was not available, one number that attracts attention was that in both 2006 and 2007, Kansas was ranked 6th-highest for incidents of rape per 100,000 people.

In analyzing the UCR data, some questions could be asked to help gain further insight:
  1. The drop in frequency of property crimes from ...
read more

Criminal Justice and the Wedding Cake

by Aeria on September 9, 2009 4 Comments

Samuel Walker a writer for Wadsworth CJR publishing created a model to explain the different elevations of Criminal Justice Courts which was contradictory to the "President's Commission Model" back in 1997. He dubbed it the "Wedding Cake Model" of criminal justice. Just as in a traditional wedding cake (Not like this) there are four layers of the cake. Their names, starting from the top they are: Celebrated Cases, Heavy Duty Felonies, Light Weight Felonies and A World unto Itself, respectively.

(Image Taken from Fancy Cakes Shop of PA)

read more