Kansas House blocks death penalty appeals changes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas House members have blocked a procedural vote that would have cleared the way for final action on a bill streamlining appeals in death penalty cases.

Thursday’s House action casts doubt on whether supporters will be able to advance the measure.

The bill would streamline appeals of death penalties by the Kansas Supreme Court. The measure would codify existing court guidelines on time limits and page limits, but allow the court to waive those limits.

Another key provision would allow public access to law enforcement documents on arrests and searches, which are now closed records in Kansas.

The proposal emerged from talks between the House and Senate. Legislators now plan to reopen negotiations to consider their options, including splitting the death penalty and documents provisions into separate bills.

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