Dave Ranney says few people disagree with his assertion that Gov. Laura Kelly should grant clemency to Sarah Gonzales-McLinn, who slit her rapist’s throat in 2014. But when he hears opposition, he asks, “Why don’t you tell me what you think was going on in that house?”
The state Department of Corrections’ prisoner review board forwarded a recommendation to Gov. Laura Kelly on the executive clemency application of a Kansas woman convicted in the slaying of a man who allegedly sexually assaulted her for months, state officials said.
Sarah Gonzales-McLinn faces long odds in her bid for clemency based on the rarity in which the Prisoner Review Board recommends approval, the willingness of governors to wield their power, the severity of her crime and opposition from those close to Hal Sasko.
”Even after the abuse, after the violent slaying, the system failed (Sarah Gonzales-McLinn). The judge in her murder trial didn’t allow jurors to hear testimony about her abuse,” Clay Wirestone writes in this Kansas Reflector column.
In the years following a high-profile murder case, the Lawrence Police Department and The Willow Domestic Violence Center joined forces to help victims of human trafficking. The two organizations worked to fine-tune a longstanding relationship with the addition of a victims’ advocate in 2020.
A jury convicted Sarah Gonzales-McLinn of first-degree murder in 2015 without knowing about the months of abuse that preceded her grisly crime. Now, her advocates hope to get her out of prison by convincing the governor to grant her clemency — a longshot attempt to correct what they view as injustice.
“I am the mother of Sarah Gonzales-McLinn, the 19-year-old woman who killed Hal Sasko in 2014. … To imply that my daughter’s sentence was cut in half is misleading,” Michelle Gonzales writes in this column.
“Because this case is closed, we ethically can address misconceptions that have arisen from a misguided narrative based on supposition and speculation,” Douglas County DA Suzanne Valdez and defense attorney Jonathan Sternberg write in this column.
Sarah Gonzales-McLinn will spend about 18 more years behind bars, minimum, for the 2014 murder of Harold “Hal” Sasko.
An attorney fighting to get Sarah Gonzales-McLinn’s hard-50 sentence overturned has come to an agreement with prosecutors: they’re asking for 25 years to life instead for the 2014 murder.
Get our newsletters
Never miss a story. Sign up for our emails.