Prosecutors: "Terroristic Nature" Of Tiller Murder Justify "Hard 50"

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas prosecutors are citing the "overall terroristic nature'' of the actions of the killer of a Wichita abortion provider in defending the imposition of the so-called "Hard 50'' sentence.

A Sedgwick County judge sentenced Scott Roeder to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years for the 2009 shooting death of Dr. George Tiller.

But the U.S. Supreme Court has since held that such sentences can only be imposed by juries, prompting Roeder to raise that as an issue on appeal.

In a filing Tuesday with the Kansas Supreme Court, Sedgwick County prosecutors defended the constitutionality of the sentence in Roeder's case.

The sentence is one of several issues in Roeder's appeal. The state's high court will hear arguments on Jan. 29.