Opponents Stall Plan To Accelerate Executions

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas lawmakers who oppose a proposal aimed at expediting appeals in death penalty cases appear to have blocked its passage this year.

House and Senate negotiators abandoned the proposal Thursday night after the full House refused on a procedural voice vote to clear the way for votes in both chambers on the measure.

The proposal would have given attorneys less than a year to file their legal arguments with the Kansas Supreme Court, which must review every capital murder case.

The court would have had a year after those filings are finished to issue a decision. But justices would have had some discretion to extend deadlines.

Kansas enacted its current death penalty law in 1994 but has yet to execute anyone. Nine men are under sentence of death.

Posted by: Nick Viviani