TOPEKA – (September 4, 2013) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today issued the following statement on the passage of the “Hard 50” fix by the Kansas Legislature:
“The members of the Kansas legislature today unanimously stood strong for public safety in adopting the fix to the Kansas ‘Hard 50’ law. I am grateful that they were willing to return to Topeka to repair the law. With this legislation, Kansas has reinstated the option to make sure the ‘worst of the worst’ murderers stay behind bars for at least 50 years. I again thank Governor Brownback for calling the legislature back into session, and I commend the legislators for their efficient work in restoring this important public safety measure in a historically brief two-day session.”
The constitutionality of the Kansas “Hard 50” law was called into question by a June U.S. Supreme Court decision. The bill adopted today by the Kansas legislature repairs that damage by creating a procedure for juries to make the findings upon which a “Hard 50” sentence must be based. The bill was adopted by the Kansas House of Representatives 122-0 and by the Kansas Senate 40-0. It will now be presented to Gov. Sam Brownback for his consideration.