Lawmakers Propose Sentencing Guidelines Reform

A series of community meetings this summer has resulted in a group of Kansas Representatives announcing legislation to reform the state's sentencing guidelines.

Rep. Joe Patton used information he gathered from the community to formulate three bills. HB 2732 would limit the departures a judge could make for the most serious crimes or for those with the most serious criminal history. It would allow departures only for the reasons expressly stated in the law. Probation would not be allowed for crimes of extreme sexual violence and would not allow departures for such crimes without the agreement of the prosecutor.

HB 2733 would ensure imprisonment for any offender that commits a felony while on felony probation.

HB 2731 would aid judges in making decisions by establishing a more comprehensive pre-sentence report.

Patton held town hall meetings following a Shawnee County judge's decision to suspend a 13-year prison sentence and instead place on probation a man convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year old girl.


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