The Kansas Sentencing Commission has been notified that Governor Sam Brownback has appointed the Honorable Evelyn Z. Wilson as its chair. Judge Wilson presides in Division 5 in the 3rd Judicial District. She was appointed to the bench in 2004 and will assume duties as chief judge in January. She practiced law for 19 years in private practice. A native of Smith County, she graduated magna cum laude from Bethany College and with honors from Washburn Law. A published author, she has also taught at Washburn University. The judge is a member of the Board of Directors of Bethany College and also a member of several law-related organizations including the American Judges Association, and the American, Kansas and Topeka Bar Associations. Judge Wilson has served as Vice Chair of the Kansas Sentencing Commission since August 2012. She succeeds district court Judge Richard M. Smith from Linn County who resigned as chair last July.
Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss announced August 8, 2013, that he has appointed Judge W. Lee Fowler to the Kansas Sentencing Commission. Judge Fowler has served as a district judge since 1997 in the 5th Judicial District. He presides over cases in Lyon and Chase Counties. Judge Fowler joins Judge Evelyn Wilson of Shawnee County as one of two district judges appointed by the Chief Justice to the Commission.
Judge Fowler said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as a member of the Kansas Sentencing Commission. I look forward to being able to participate in addressing issues that face our state in the criminal justice system.”
Fowler, a native of Parsons, Kansas, is a graduate of Emporia State University and Washburn University School of Law. He served on the 5th Judicial District Community Corrections Advisory Board from 1990 through 1992, and again from 2007 to the present. He currently serves as chairman. Judge Fowler created a drug court in Emporia in 2004 and has presided over it since that time. He brings a unique perspective to the commission, having served as Chase County Attorney from 1985 – 1993, and later as defense counsel in private practice. He replaces Judge Richard M. Smith of Linn County on the Commission.
The Governor’s office has recently appointed Edward J. Regan, Atchison, to serve as a public member of the Commission. Currently a senior at Benedictine College, Mr. Regan is double majoring in Economics and Finance with a minor in Entrepreneurship. He graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in 2010, where he earned a football scholarship to attend Benedictine College. He is interested in pursuing a law degree after graduation in May 2015, and is currently serving as an intern for the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors which is a part of the Department of Commerce. He replaces Quentin L. Martin.
2013 Forms Updated and a HB 2170 Tab Added to the Website
Updated 2013 forms are newly revised for the Presentence Investigation Report (PSI), Journal Entry of Judgment and Journal Entry of Probation Revocation Hearing. They may be found here and at the Forms tab of the website.
To provide you with the most current information regarding these changes, the Commission has established a new tab at the top of its website that will continue to be updated with helpful resources to assist you in the transition and implementation of this new law.
Commission Releases House Bill 2170 FAQ
On July 1, 2013, the Sentencing Commission released its guidance on some frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the recent Justice Reinvestment bill that brings comprehensive change to probation and postrelease supervision. The document represents the Commission’s position on questions regarding process and procedure for probation and postrelease beginning on July 1, 2013, due to the passage of HB 2170. The Commission anticipates that the FAQ will be enlarged to address more inquiries as implementation of the new law continues.
Highlights of the 2013 Legislative Session
A listing of some of the major bills affecting the criminal justice community. It is not exhaustive but will be included with others in the 2013 Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Desk Reference Manual, which will be released later in the year.