Empty prison cell
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas legislators are expected to reopen debate of the state's "Hard 50'' prison-sentence law with a proposal to make it the default punishment for premeditated first-degree murder.
Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce is writing a bill to make the change.
The current default is life without parole for at least 25 years for such crimes, though prosecutors can seek 50-year sentences in certain circumstances.
The debate follows September's special session in which legislators rewrote the ``Hard 50'' law to comply with a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court's ruling said juries, not judges, could determine whether a defendant should receive an upward sentence for such crimes.