Kansas Justices Want To Hear More In 'Hard 50' Cases

By: Nick Viviani
By: Nick Viviani

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Justices of the Kansas Supreme Court are asking attorneys for the state and four defendants to file additional legal briefs regarding the state's "Hard 50'' prison sentence.

An order was issued Tuesday by the court in four cases heard since October. Each case involves a defendant who has been sentenced to life in prison with a mandatory prison term of 50 years before being eligible for parole.

The state's "Hard 50'' sentence has been the center of attention since last June when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a Virginia case regarding how mandatory minimum prison sentences are imposed when they depart from the standard sentence. The high court ruled that in such cases juries, not judges, can impose the sentences. In Kansas, judges had imposed the Hard 50 sentences.

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