UPDATE: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt acknowledges that a quick rewriting of the state's "Hard 50" law may not allow the tough sentence in pending cases but argues legislators still should have a special session.
Schmidt said Thursday that Kansas will be in a better legal position in pending cases if lawmakers don't wait until their next annual session in January to respond to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The attorney general asked Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday to call a special session.
The Kansas law allows judges to sentence people convicted of first-degree murder to a minimum of 50 years in prison before they can seek parole. The nation's highest court ruled last month that juries, not judges, must have the final say on facts triggering mandatory minimum sentences.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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.