Kansas bill to abolish death penalty gets hearing

TOPEKA | A bill abolishing the Kansas death penalty is scheduled to have a Senate committee hearing.

The Judiciary Committee plans to hear testimony Thursday on the proposal by Sen. Carolyn McGinn, a Sedgwick Republican. It plans to vote Friday on whether to send the bill to the chamber for debate.

McGinn says abolishing the death penalty would save the state money because it would eliminate the high costs of capital cases.

The bill would ban the death penalty after July 1 but wouldn't change death sentences already imposed. The last time the state carried out an execution was in 1965.

Senate leaders say it's hard to gauge the level of support because only three of the 40 senators were around when the death penalty was reinstated in 1994.