A bill limiting a judge's ability to sentence offenders to less than the recommended time is on its way to the Governor's desk.
The Kansas House of Representatives voted 122-1 in favor of it Tuesday night.
Rep. Joe Patton, R-Topeka, sponsored the measure. It was sparked by his concern when a Shawnee County judge sentenced a man convicted of sexuall assaulting a teenaged girl sex to probation, and suspended the recommended 13-year prison sentence.
“The current guidelines allow criminals to walk the street, and to prey on the poor, the weak, the innocent and the elderly,” Patton said in a statement. “This change in our sentencing guidelines will ensure those convicted of serious sexual violence crimes go to prison. This is a clear victory for justice and public safety.”
Patton also said under the current law multiple convictions do not usually result in prison time. Under this bill a person who is convicted of felony theft four or times will spend time in prison.
Patton held a series of public meetings about the state’s sentencing guidelines in arriving at his proposal.
The sentencing guidelines bill is HB2707.