Master's Theses


Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


It is the purpose of this study to present a history of capital punishment in Kansas. There is a brief history of capital punishment dating back to the origins of the death penalty and the schools of thought through various periods of history that have affected the existence of the death penalty. There is also a Kansas statutory history of the death penalty, along with an attempt to establish the legal position of capital punishment as it has existed since its inception. There are attempts to show some aspects of public sentiment during those phases of abolishment or re-establishment of capital punishment. The writer has concentrated on those executions which have occurred in Kansas since 1935, and on the individual, his trial and costs of litigation. The governors’ attitudes regarding the death penalty between 1870 and 1907 made it an anomalous formality; thus, in 1907 it was abolished. Since the death penalty was re-established in 1935, no governor has commuted the death sentence. The opinions of the governors and the general public seem to be, that since it is the law, it should be carried out. From 1935 to 1965, the length of time between sentencing and carrying out the penalty has increased. The federal courts have been confronted with an increasing number of appeals based on a violation of the condemned’s constitutional rights.


Committee Chair

Date of Award

Summer 1965

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1965 Gayle R. Garrelts


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