Butler County Times Gazette
  • Kansas House taking up rewrite of 'Hard 50' law

  • Kansas House members are preparing to debate a bill that would change the state's "Hard 50" criminal sentencing law.
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  • Kansas House members are preparing to debate a bill that would change the state's "Hard 50" criminal sentencing law.
    The House Judiciary Committee plans to take the measure up Tuesday morning, when lawmakers return to the Statehouse for a special session. A vote by the full chamber is expected by evening.
    The current law allows convicted murderers to be sentenced to at least 50 years in prison. A U.S. Supreme Court decision in June raised questions about its constitutionality.
    The high court said juries must determine whether a mandatory minimum sentence is warranted in criminal cases. The Kansas law lets judges make that determination but the bill would give the task to juries.
    The Senate hopes to consider the measure Wednesday. It has bipartisan support.
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