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State Attorney General Derek Schmidt to address Rotary Club

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, August 5, 2013, at 10:29 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, August 5, 2013, at 10:34 a.m.

As Kansas lawmakers prepare for a special session to rewrite a criminal sentencing law, the man who requested the session, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, today will address a luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Wichita.

Schmidt asked for next month’s special session to revise the state’s Hard 50 sentencing law, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a nearly identical Virginia law violated the Constitution.

The Hard 50 allows judges to sentence convicted murderers to life in prison without possibility of parole for 50 years when certain aggravating factors, such as torturing the victim, are part of the crime.

The Supreme Court ruled that juries, not judges, would have to decide whether aggravating factors are present in each case for the sentence to meet constitutional muster.

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