Moore v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Appellant Brian Moore was convicted of the 1979 robbery, kidnapping, and murder of Virgil Harris and sentenced to death. Appellant pursued post-conviction DNA testing under Kan. Rev. Stat 422.285 in the circuit court. The circuit court denied Appellant's motion for release of evidence for independent testing, finding that it did not have the authority to grant DNA testing that exceeds the limitations of the statute. On appeal, Appellant sought additional DNA testing beyond that ordered below, or, in the alternative, to vacate his conviction and sentence for several reasons, including the post-trial loss of evidence that was to be tested for DNA. The Supreme Court concluded that (1) Appellant did not demonstrate that his conviction and sentence should be vacated, but (2) the circuit court erred in reading its power to order certain DNA testing to be limited by statute. The Court also found that Commonwealth's cross-appeal on several issues to be without merit. For those reasons, the judgment of the circuit court was affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the matter was remanded for further proceedings.