A bill that would expand DNA searches to closed cases is scheduled for a hearing at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Room 346-S, in Topeka.
The bill, sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Committee, was supported by Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., and human rights activist Alvin Sykes. It also has support from the Innocence Project.
Sykes said the bill now has letters of support from Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree, Kansas City, Kansas, Police Chief Terry Zeigler and Cheryl Pilate, a defense attorney in some cases of wrongful incarceration.
Currently, according to the bill’s supporters, when DNA tests are run, the search passes over closed cases and looks for an open case to compare. But if the search includes closed cases, sometimes a match can be made where another person has already been convicted, according to the bill’s supporters, which raises questions about whether the right person is in prison.
If closed cases are excluded from the DNA searches, information that might exonerate individuals can be missed, according to supporters of the bill. A proposed change to the law would mandate notification for both closed and open cases.
The bill also calls for a closed case task force to develop protocols for a process to be implemented. The proposed task force would include legislators, governor’s office, attorney general, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, indigents’ defense service, attorneys, victim services, and innocence organization litigators. The task force would submit its report by Dec. 1, 2020, under the proposed bill.
Another bill in the Judiciary Committee concerning the wrongfully incarcerated is Senate Bill 106, which would allow the state to seek monetary damages from anyone who knowingly contributed to the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of a person, and also would allow criminal prosecution and ouster proceedings. If an individual were a law enforcement employee or a prosecutor for a county or city, and courts ordered that damages should be paid, it would be possible that the county or city would pay damages under the Tort Claims Act, and it is possible that some damages could be paid through the local government’s insurance coverage. The proposed bill, which is in the Judiciary Committee, also would make it possible to seek to recover damages from non-government employees who contributed to wrongful convictions. A hearing was not scheduled on this bill. The bill is online at http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2019_20/measures/sb106/.
It’s an old baseball axiom you can never have too much pitching but Kansas City Kansas Community College’s baseball team will go into Jayhawk Conference play with its most experienced staff in recent years.
Three sophomores who combined to start 34 games last year head a deep and promising mound staff to go along with an experienced infield.
“The strength of this team should be our pitching staff,” said fourth year head coach Matt Goldbeck. “We have a lot of quality arms and ‘plus stuff’ as a staff. If we can throw strikes, I think we’ll be able to pitch and play defense.”
Kept inside by this year’s snow, ice and cold, the Blue Devils finally got outside this past weekend with a five-game spring trip to the Dallas area where faced Eastfield in doubleheaders Friday and Saturday and Brookhaven in a single game Sunday. The home opener will come Saturday, Feb. 23, when the Blue Devils play host to State Fair in a twin bill.
Goldbeck will build his pitching staff around three sophomore righthanders from Florida – Orlando Ortiz and Victor Gotay, both of Miami Beach; and Carlos Soto of Kissimmee. All were in the starting rotation a year ago when the Blue Devils finished 34-26.
Gotay was 3-3 with a 3.94 earned run average in 10 starts; Soto 4-7 with a 5.05 ERA in 11 starts; and Ortiz 3-6 and a 6.06 ERA in 13 starts. Ortiz struck out 91 in 69 innings but also surrendered 65 walks. Soto had 52 strikeouts in 66 innings and Gotay 42 strikeouts in 45 innings. Each gave up 30 walks.
Osvaldo Mendez, a freshman lefthander from Carolina, Puerto Rico, is expected to fill the fourth spot in the starting rotation with Matt Fred, a freshman righthander from Saint Mary, Kansas, slated to start in this weekend’s fifth game in Texas. Sophomore lefthander Hunter Paxton of Mill Valley, who was 3-1 in five starts last season, will also see starting duty along with sophomore Maxwell Storch of Olathe South and freshmen Jose Amaro and Zavier Morin of Gardner-Atchison.
The relief corps will be built around three freshmen – righthanders Phillip Bryant of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Gabriel Ramos of Deltona, Florida, and southpaw Jake Martin of Aurora, Colorado.
Kevin Santiago returns to lead the offense. A sophomore from Puerto Rico, Santiago led the Blue Devils with 11 home runs, 63 runs-batted-in and a .713 slugging percentage while hitting .386 in a banner freshman season.
“We’re counting on him for a big year,” Goldbeck said.
Santiago will be joined on the infield by Eric Hinostroza of Shawnee at first, Trace Harter of Topeka Seaman at second and Kemper Bednar of Saint James at third. All are sophomores but only Bednar saw action last year, hitting .250 in 20 games. Harter is a transfer from Johnson County while Hinostroza is a former Blue Devil returning from military duty.
Three freshmen have won the starting outfield spots – Tyler Henry of Gardner-Edgerton in left, Eduardo Acosta of Puerto Rico in center and Matt Schrick of Atchison in right. Sophomore Brady Holder of Kearney and freshmen Jose Soto of Kissimmee, Trey Hoover of Maryville, Missouri, and Kaleb Harrison of Neola, Iowa, will vie for the role of designated hitter as well as infield and outfield duties.
Catching will be another strength. Sophomore J.T. Goodfellow of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, who caught 30 games last season, will be joined by freshman Griffin Everett of Lincoln, Nebraska.
“Offensively, this is going to be a team that will try to put pressure on the defense by stealing bases, bunting for hits and using the hit-and-run, all the little things,” Goldbeck said. “Santiago, Henry and Schrick will provide some power.”
Goldbeck is being assisted by veterans Bill Sharp, Dean Long and Ryne McDonald and newcomers Andrew Kreiling and Pedro Leon. All but Leon are former Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils have been tabbed for fifth place in the Jayhawk Conference behind Cowley, which is ranked No. 6 in the NJCAA preseason poll; Neosho County, Johnson County and Fort Scott. The Blue Devils will play a 32-game Jayhawk schedule, four-game series with each other league member rotating on a home-and-home basis on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Kansas City Kansas Community College
2019 Baseball Schedule
Friday, Feb. 15 Eastfield CC Dallas, TX. Noon Saturday, Feb 16 Eastfield CC Dallas, TX. Noon Sunday, Feb. 17 Brookhaven (1×9) Farmers Branch, TX. Noon Thursday, Feb. 21 State Fair CC Sedalia, MO. Noon Saturday, Feb. 23 State Fair CC KCKCC Noon Tuesday, Feb. 26 William Jewell (1×9) KCKCC Noon Friday, March 1 Marshalltown CC KCKCC Noon Saturday, March 2 Marshalltown CC KCKCC Noon Tuesday, March 5 Baker University JV (1×9) KCKCC 2 p.m. Thursday, March 7 Labette* Parsons, KS. 1 p.m. Saturday, March 9 Labette* KCKCC 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 12 Maple Woods (1×9) Kansas City, MO. 2 p.m. Thursday, March 14 Highland* KCKCC 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16 Highland* Highland, KS. 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 19 Baker University JV (1×9) Baldwin, KS. 2 p.m. Thursday, March 21 Allen County* KCKCC 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23 Allen County* Iola, KS. 1 p.m. Thursday, March 28 Fort Scott* Fort Scott, KS. 1 p.m. Saturday, March 30 Fort Scott* KCKCC 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 Maple Woods (1×9) KCKCC 2 p.m. Thursday, April 4 Neosho County* Chanute, KS. 1 p.m. Saturday, April 6 Neosho County* KCKCC 1 p.m. Monday, April 8 Rockhurst JV Kansas City, MO. 5 p.m. Thursday, April 11 Johnson County* KCKCC 1 p.m. Saturday, April 13 Johnson County* Overland Park, KS. 1 p.m. Thursday, April 18 Cowley College* KCKCC 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20 Cowley College* Arkansas City, KS. 1 p.m. Monday, April 22 Rockhurst JV (1×9) KCKCC 3 p.m. Thursday, April 25 Coffeyville* Coffeyville, KS. 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27 Coffeyville* KCKCC 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 Maple Woods (1×9) KCKCC 2 p.m. May 3-5 Region VI (1st round) TBA May 16-21 Region VI Super-Regional TBA May 23-June 6 NJCAA World Series Grand Junction, CO