Kansas Senate Leader Has Plan To Toughen 'Hard 50'

By: AP - (posted by Grg Palmer)
By: AP - (posted by Grg Palmer)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce says he'll push next year to strengthen the state's ``Hard 50'' sentencing law for convicted murderers.

The proposal outlined Thursday by the Hutchinson Republican comes only months after a special legislative session to fix a flaw in the law.

It allows people convicted of premeditated, first-degree murder to be sentenced to at least 50 years in prison.

Legislators had to fix the law because it had said judges decided whether the circumstances of a crime warranted the ``Hard 50'' sentence rather than at least 25 years in prison. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court said juries must decide such issues.

Bruce said he wants the ``Hard 50'' to be the presumed sentence, with judges deciding whether to lessen it in some cases.

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