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KS Gov Signs Proclamation Calling Special Session

IMG 0399-1500(Photo by Stephen Koranda)Governor Sam Brownback has signed a proclamation officially calling a special session of the Kansas Legislature next month. Lawmakers will consider ways to fix the state’s so-called "Hard 50" sentencing law. It allows judges to hand down a sentence of life in prison for murder, with no chance of parole for 50 years. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidated that sentencing option. Governor Brownback says a solution is needed now, rather than waiting until lawmakers return for the next session in January.



In Kansas, the basic sentence for first-degree murder is life with 25 years before becoming parole-eligible, but judges have been able to increase that to 50 years without parole. The Supreme Court ruling says juries, not judges, must weigh in when a sentence is enhanced in that way.

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Governor Sam Brownback has signed a proclamation officially ordering a special legislative session to be held next month. Lawmakers will meet to consider ways to fix the state’s so-called "Hard 50" sentencing law in the wake of a U.S Supreme court ruling. The law allows judges to hand down a sentence for murder of life in prison, without the chance of parole for 50 years. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.



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