Advocates fight to block Kansas death penalty bill

Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, center, a Topeka Democrat, speaks against a bill shortening the appeals process in death penalty cases, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Sitting to his left is Sen. Tom Holland, a Baldwin City Democrat, and to his left, Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A House committee has heard concerns about the Kansas death penalty sentence and a proposal to limit the time for defendants to appeal their cases.

The House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee took testimony Wednesday on the bill, which would give people sentenced to death three years and six months to have their appeals heard and decided by the Kansas Supreme Court. Currently there is no time limit.

The committee won’t take action on the bill because it has already been assigned to a conference committee of three House and three Senate members to negotiate an agreement. However, Rep. John Rubin, the committee chairman, says he wants to gather input from other legislators and the public before starting those talks in the coming weeks.

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