Challenges to Kan. Hard 50 fix in offing

Kansas state Rep. Steven Becker asks questions about proposed changes to the state’s “Hard 50” prison sentence during a committee hearing Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, in Topeka, Kan. Legislators are considering a bill that would make changes to the way the prison sentence is determined following a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Virginia case. (AP Photo/John Milburn)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Attorneys and state officials say it’s too early to tell if justices of the Kansas Supreme Court will approve changes made this week to the state’s Hard 50 prison sentence.

Legislators finished work on the measure Wednesday, and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign it into law in the coming weeks. The measure was passed in response to a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Virginia case that held that juries, not judges, should determine such extended prison sentences.

Attorneys say Thursday that it would be several months before legislators know for certain whether the Kansas Supreme Courts will allow the changes in process to apply retroactively to 45 cases either still in the trial stages or being appealed.

Comments are closed.