Kansas legislators increase murder sentences

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Defendants convicted of premeditated first-degree murder in Kansas would face a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 50 years under a bill heading to Gov. Sam Brownback.

The House approved the measure Wednesday on a 123-0 vote. Senators approved the bill, 37-3, on April 5.

The bill would double the mandatory time defendants must serve before being eligible for parole but allow judges to decide whether a lesser sentence is warranted.

Currently, prosecutors can seek the so-called “Hard 50” sentence against first-degree murder defendants, but it can only be imposed by juries after weighing factors presented during a trial.

The bill also would impose a minimum 25-year prison sentence for defendants convicted of attempted capital murder or committing murder during another felony.


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