Sedgwick County DA sounds alarm to state and local officials

Sedgwick County District Attorney Mark Bennett spoke to county commissioners Wednesday, discussing his recent request to state legislators to extend Gov. Laura Kelly's emergency order.

That order included a suspension of the 150-day deadline required by Kansas law to a person's right to a speedy jury trial. 

Due to the pandemic, jury trials have been suspended and cases are backing up. With the order set to end September 15, the 150-day countdown would begin for people who have been arraigned and jailed. Bennett says thanks to the backlog of cases, there’s no way they could complete all of the necessary trials by February. That means on Day 151, a person awaiting trial would be released from jail. 

Bennett says he has a plan B, which would include dismissing cases and refiling them at a later date.