Kansas AG seeks special session

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is asking Gov. Sam Brownback to call the Legislature into special session to rewrite the state’s “Hard 50” sentencing law.

The statute allows people convicted of first-degree murder to be sentenced to a minimum of 50 years in prison before they can seek parole.

In a letter Wednesday to the governor, Schmidt says a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision raised questions about the constitutionality of the Kansas law. The high court held that juries, not judges, should have the final say on facts triggering mandatory minimum sentences.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of Schmidt’s letter from a source who was not authorized to release it publicly. Schmidt did not return a cell phone message seeking comment.

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