Bill Strengthening Sentencing Guidelines Headed to Governor

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

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.

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