Governor Laura Kelly appointed Alice Craig and Cory Sheedy to the Closed Case Task Force.
The task force was established as a more comprehensive criminal justice reform effort. Its purpose is to consult with practitioners and experts to develop a plan to ensure uniform, statewide policies and procedures that address issues relating to hits to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). A hit happens when the DNA profile from a convicted offender or arrestee matches DNA evidence in an unsolved case.
The task force’s plan would address the timely receipt of data relating to CODIS hits from the forensic laboratory, directly connecting the data relating to CODIS hits to the relevant case file, developing proper policies and procedures to make sure all hits are accounted for and followed up, developing procedures to address how key parties can conduct a reasonable and timely investigation into the significance of the hit, sharing the hit’s data with key parties and other duties.
“Alice and Cory are both highly-skilled individuals who are passionate about implementing criminal justice reform in our state. I am pleased to have them on the team,” Kelly said. “With their help, the task force will complete a plan by October 1, 2020.”
The governor makes two appointments to the task force. One is either the governor or the governor’s designee, and the other is a representative of an organization that litigates claims of innocence.
Sheedy, Lawrence, is the director of legislative affairs for the Office of the Governor. Sheedy is on the task force as the governor’s designee.
Craig, Baldwin City, is the senior attorney for post-conviction litigation at the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies. She also works as an instructor and faculty member at the University of Kansas School of Law. Previously, she worked as the assistant death penalty defender for the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit. Craig received a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Kansas. Craig fills the seat as a representative of an organization that litigates claims of innocence.
The governor’s appointments to the task force are not subject to Kansas Senate confirmation.