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Court of Appeals Judge Michael Buser to sit with Kansas Supreme Court ...

TOPEKA—Court of Appeals Judge Michael Buser will sit with the Kansas Supreme Court to hear and help decide one case on the court’s September 14 docket that will take place by videoconference.

After hearing oral arguments, Judge Buser will join Supreme Court justices in their deliberations and decision drafting.

"The Supreme Court looks forward to Judge Buser hearing a case with us,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert. “He will read the case materials, prepare for oral argument, and deliberate with the court on its decision. We thank him for helping us, especially because we know he already has a significant caseload in to handle."

Buser was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2005 by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

“I look forward to sitting with our Supreme Court as the justices decide important legal issues that affect all Kansans," said Buser. 

Buser grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and Overland Park. After receiving undergraduate degrees from Georgetown University, he returned to Kansas to earn a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. He worked as a county prosecutor and corporate counsel and was in private practice before being named to the Court of Appeals in 2005.

All Supreme Court oral arguments are webcast live at

Buser will join justices by videoconference at 9 a.m. Tuesday, September 14, to hear oral arguments in: 

Appeal No. 121,815: Ronell Williams v. State of Kansas

Wyandotte County: (Petition for Review) At 14 years old, Williams was convicted of two counts of premeditated first-degree murder arising from the death of two victims. He is serving two concurrent hard life sentences. Williams brought an action under K.S.A 60-1507 challenging his hard 50 sentence as constitutionally disproportionate under the Eighth Amendment. The district court dismissed the motion as untimely and successive. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded to the district court with specific directions to resentence Williams on the premeditated fir-degree murder convictions based on the constitutional protections cited in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460. Issues on review are whether: 1) the Court of Appeals erred in holding that Williams’ hard-50 sentence, which was imposed under a discretionary scheme and explicitly provided the opportunity for parole, ran afoul of Miller because it only held that life without parole for those under the age of 18 at the time of their crime violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on ‘cruel and unusual punishments,” and 2) this Court should affirm Williams’ sentence if it finds that the hard 50 is the “functional equivalent” of a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.