White Supremacist and 'Wichita Massacre' Killers Are Hoping to Avoid Death Penalty Using Kansas Abortion Ruling

A group of death row inmates are arguing that the state of Kansas cannot legally execute them as the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion effectively bans capital punishment.

Attorneys for five of the 10 men on death row in Kansas are hoping to capitalize on the Supreme Court's ruling in April that declared women have the right to an abortion under the state's Constitution.

They argue that the same protections offered to women could also be applied to the men's rights not to be sentenced to death in order meet the "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" requirement laid out in the Constitution.

As reported by The Associated Press, among those arguing they should be spared the death penalty is Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., a white supremacist who was convicted of killing three Jewish people in Kansas in 2014.

Brothers Jonathan and Reginald Carr, who committed the so-called Wichita Massacre in which five people were killed, including four were who raped and forced to have sex with each other before they were robbed and executed by the pair, are also attempting to argue their case.

In its April ruling, the Supreme Court said that section 1 of the Kansas State Constitution, which states that "all men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," also affords protection of the right of personal autonomy and the ability to control one's own body.

"This right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life— decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy," the court added.

As noted by Law And Crime, the inmates' main argument relies on what their attorneys are describing as a "new landscape of Kansas constitutional law" in the wake of the court's abortion ruling. The attorneys suggest this means implementing the death penalty contradicts an "inalienable right" to life.

According to the motion, filed on behalf on Jonathan Carr, under the court's ruling the defendant can argue "the right to life is fundamental, the death penalty infringes that right, and the State cannot meet its burden to show that the death penalty furthers a compelling, narrowly tailored state interest [and] in the alternative, the death penalty is not rationally tied to a valid state interest because it is arbitrary, irrational, and discriminatory state action."

Speaking to the AP, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said the abortion ruling has "opened the door for a wide range of new litigation."

"There is a certain irony that a case regarding abortion is now being urged by some as a reason to upend the death penalty in Kansas," Schmidt said. "I think that's just the start, because this holding was so sweeping. I think it's not just going to be abortion."

The inmates' legal team filed documents with to the Supreme Court less than two weeks after the abortion decision was made. The arguments were taken seriously enough for justices to order prosecutors and defense attorneys to file written arguments in the case, the last of which will be sent in November.

Frazier Glenn Miller
Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, sits with his defense team after being wheeled into a Johnson County courtroom for a scheduling session April 24, 2014, in Olathe, Kanas John Sleezer-Pool/Getty