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DA speaks on the fentanyl issue in Kansas

TOPEKA (KSNT)- Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay spoke out about the damage fentanyl is causing not only in Shawnee County, but throughout the United States.

“We are working very hard to make sure that anyone who distributes fentanyl, especially anyone who has fentanyl around children, faces tougher penalties because of the risk it poses,” Kagay told 27 News Anchor Katie Garceran.

When asked if this was a specific problem in our county, Kagay said he noticed fentanyl is a growing problem before he became a district attorney. He specifically expanded how parents can warn their children about the danger posed by this drug.

“You have to be honest and you have to talk to your children. Be as real as possible with them and make sure they understand,” she said.

In addition to commenting on the growing fentanyl issue, Kagay expanded on his top priorities for this year’s legislative session.

The main issue that wants to be addressed has to do with a constitutional right that we have as Americans, which is the right to a speedy trial. However, it is up to the state to decide the exact timing and parameters that define a fast-track process.

During the pandemic, there has been an extreme backlog of cases as everything in our world has slowed down. For this reason, the Kansas law that specified times for a speedy process was temporarily suspended to give workers a chance to catch up.

But that exception will soon expire in May, making it a problem for those courts and systems that are still trying to catch up.

“Courts need time, systems need time to make an adjustment.”

He stressed that he doesn’t want people to think they are trying to trample on the defendant’s rights.

“What we’re looking for is a solution with the legislator, the defense attorney and the courts that gives us the time to make this adjustment and do it in a way that is fluid, that ensures that justice goes forward, no one’s rights are violated.” and we have just the right amount of time to make that adjustment,” Kagay said.

For more information on the topics covered, watch the interview above.

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