YAEL T. ABOUHALKAH

Kill Kyle Flack? No, let him rot in prison

Updated: 2013-05-14T23:29:57Z

By YAEL T. ABOUHALKAH

The Kansas City Star

Plenty of people right now would like to skip the trial and get right to the part where accused murderer Kyle Flack gets the death penalty.

Flack is scheduled to appear in court today after being charged with homicide in a case involving four dead people, including 18-month-old Lana Leigh Bailey.

During one brief appearance in public as captured by the media, a sullen Flack — surrounded by law enforcement officials — flipped a bird to the TV cameras.

Remorse? Haven’t seen any of that yet.

Yet while it’s understandable to feel that Flack deserves the death penalty, that’s not likely to happen as smoothly as many people would hope. If at all.

First comes the convicting part, and that’s likely to take months with investigations and trials.

And in the potential penalty phase of the trial, that’s always something the legal system in Kansas handles delicately and carefully. This isn’t Texas, after all, where life is cheap.

Finally, what exactly is a death penalty sentence? Normally, it’s a sentence to sit in limbo for years, perhaps more than a decade, while appeals are filed and other legal machinations occur.

A different outcome is possible.

Let Flack — again, if convicted — rot in prison the rest of his life.

He’s 27 now, so that could be a good 40 to 50 years of his life spent behind bars.

Flack is already a convicted felon and wouldn’t be a legitimate candidate for parole. So all the outraged people could be confident he wouldn’t be getting out again — as he did after his first crime.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. He blogs at voices.kansascity.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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