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Kansas death penalty bill alive again

TOPEKA | A bill to abolish the death penalty in Kansas is headed to the Senate for debate after a committee reversed ourse.

Opponents of the death penalty are pushing the issue by arguing that the state can’t afford capital punishment.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-5 today to endorse the bill, a day after it had voted to send the bill to a study committee this summer.

Sen. Dwayne Umbarger, a Thayer Republican, changed his vote, saying he felt it’s time to give the Senate a chance to debate the matter.

The bill calls for an end to death sentences after July 1. But it would allow for inmates who already had been sentenced to be put to death, including 10 people already on Kansas’ death row.

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