The Reuters article can be found at: link to news.yahoo.com
According to Antonin Scalia, "The American people have determined that the good to be derived from capital punishment — in deterrence, and perhaps most of all in the meting out of condign justice for horrible crimes — outweighs the risk of error. It is no proper part of the business of this court, or of its justices, to second-guess that judgment, much less to impugn it before the world ."
Since the Constitution of the United States provides for trial by jury, legal representation, security from unlawful search and seizure, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment, I assume these standards were met in Kansas. From that perspective, it is reasonable for a conservative/federalist majority (I do not equate secular conservatism with federalism) to uphold states' rights to determine the good to be had from legislation.
However, the same criteria can and should apply to death with dignity laws, environmental protections, drug use, etc. Should not, using Scalia's broader logic, a state have the right to reject federal restrictions on use of heroin as an analgesic for terminally ill patients? Should not Americans in a given state be allowed to weigh the benefit of legalizing hemp for industrial or recreational use against the risk to presents to society--e.g. the revenue contribution from use of hemp fiber and/or recreational sale and taxation, versus the costs associated with enforcement of illegal marijuana and the resources that takes away from fighting more serious crimes and substance use?
As this new phase of American judicial history moves forward, it will be interesting to watch, and necessary to monitor, the consistency with which the conservative/federalist Supreme Courts adheres to its mantra of "states rights."