Winn trial begins; judge says shirts in support of defendant barred

The trial for Kyler Carriker (Kyler Winn) began today. Carriker faces a twenty year mandatory minimum sentence on the charge of first degree felony murder, for a crime in which he was actually the victim.

Read about Kyler Carriker’s case:

No Justice in Wichita Felony Murder Case

Sedgwick County Judge: Marijuana is more Dangerous than Armed Robbery

While the jury pool was being divided and assigned on the first floor, a last minute motion was heard in Judge Terry Pullman’s courtroom on the sixth floor. At the heart of that motion, was the issue of whether or not Carriker’s supporters would be permitted to be on the first floor, the sixth floor, and in the courtroom, wearing t-shirts featuring a photo of Carriker, and the words “not a murderer”, “not guilty”, “#justiceforkyler” and the words “twenty year mandatory”, crossed out.

Carriker’s attorney, Sarah Swain, argued that the shirts should be allowed in the courtroom, citing case law that allows supporters of crime victims to wear similar shirts during court proceedings. The courts have ruled that supporters of victims wearing these shirts does not negatively impact a defendant’s right to a fair trial.

In her motion, Swain cites, among other cases, United States Supreme Court case Cohen v. California, which upholds the right of private citizens to wear “expressive clothing in the courthouse”.

The prosecution argued that Swain had no business representing the rights of Carriker’s supporters in the court. Judge Pullman ultimately ruled in favor of the prosecution, stating that it was within his discretionary powers to ban the shirts, despite the fact that victims’ supporters have been permitted to wear such shirts in other trials.

After that brief motion was ruled upon, the jury selection process, also known as vior dire, began. 42 prospective jurors entered the small courtroom, with barely enough seating room. Carriker’s supporters and other observers were forced out of the room due to the lack of seating space, and not permitted to observe the process until enough jurors were dismissed to create open seats.

Roughly 40 people came to the courthouse today in support of Carriker, some coming from as far away as California. About 20 of those supporters demonstrated outside the courthouse, wearing the shirts that were banned from the courtroom, and carrying signs denouncing the war on drugs.

California activist Joe Grumbine in front of the Sedgwick County Courthouse.
California activist Joe Grumbine in front of the Sedgwick County Courthouse.

Carriker is the son of former Kansas gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Winn. The trial is expected to last two weeks and protests are scheduled to continue Monday through Friday, 8-5, throughout the duration.

5 thoughts on “Winn trial begins; judge says shirts in support of defendant barred

  1. Is there any additional information pertaining to protesting during the trial? There needs to be more support for justice, not a corrupt and outdated system.

  2. Would rather have a person sitting next to me smoking a joint than putting a gun to my head and wanting to rob me.

  3. You people need to stop using the word “justice” when speaking out against law enforcement abuse of power, corruption in the courts, bad laws and other wrongs of this nature. Demanding “justice” prevail in a situation where a system called “The Justice System” is wrongly, immorally and unfairly prosecuting and persecuting a man for whatever reason, what you are actually doing is declaring your enthusiastic support for the “The Justice System” in their evil endevour. It’s not some technicality to brush off as being nit-picky.

    There is a fundamental error in the common use and understanding of the word “justice” that must be corrected. This error has and will always work against the efforts of those who mean well, and intend only that corruption and tyranny fail. The word “justice” needs to be seen as it functions; just – ice. That is the true etymology of this word. Ice is cold. The application of law and any subsequent punishment should be delivered no different, cold, just like ice.This is the mentality that makes possible the routine action of destroying someone’s life for committing a crime that has no victim, or barring exculpatory witnesses or evidence from testifying or being presented.

    When you hear the phrase “justice has been served” ask yourself this question; who is justice, and who served it? And remember that words have power, and a misuse of words is a misuse of power.

  4. Is this were you wanna be when Jesus come back pickin on people who mess with weed but they are poisoning people daily in are food to depopulate so it doesn’t look like Genocide in history we are not the problems that build represents control and dealing death not stopping it

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