Committee to begin work on ‘Hard 50’ measure

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A joint legislative committee is set to begin its work on reviewing a proposed measure to re-write the Kansas “Hard 50” prison sentence.

Members of a select committee are scheduled to meet Monday in Topeka to begin working legislation drafted with the help of Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback called a special session of the Kansas Legislature to rewrite the law as it applies to first-degree murder cases. The move follows a June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on a similar case out of Virginia.

Legislators will begin the special session Sept. 3 and are expected to complete their work within three days.

The Supreme Court ruled that juries instead of judges, which is the current practice in Kansas, should impose a mandatory 50-year prison sentence.

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