Crime

Debora Green seeks new sentencing in arson fire that killed two children

Debora Green maintains that her life sentence with no chance of parole for 40 years has been rendered unconstitutional by a Kansas Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.
Debora Green maintains that her life sentence with no chance of parole for 40 years has been rendered unconstitutional by a Kansas Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.

A former Prairie Village doctor in prison for killing two of her children in a 1995 arson fire is seeking a new sentencing hearing.

Debora Green maintains that her life sentence with no chance of parole for 40 years has been rendered unconstitutional by a Kansas Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.

That Kansas decision followed a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found that the kind of sentence Green received must be considered by a jury and not imposed solely by a judge, which was done in Green’s case in accordance with Kansas law in place at the time.

But Johnson County prosecutors say those rulings cannot be applied retroactively to Green’s case.

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Jan. 22 in Johnson County District Court.

Green, now 63, pleaded no contest and was found guilty of starting the October 1995 fire that engulfed her Prairie Village home and killed her 13-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. Another daughter, who was 10, climbed out a window to escape.

Green also pleaded no contest to the attempted murder of her estranged husband by poisoning him.

She is among a number of Kansas inmates who are requesting new sentencing hearings because of the U.S. and Kansas Supreme Court rulings.

Under her current sentence, Green is not eligible for parole until 2035, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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