Hard 50 http://kmuw.org en Court Considers Matthew Astorga's Appeal Of 'Hard 50' Sentence http://kmuw.org/post/court-considers-matthew-astorgas-appeal-hard-50-sentence <p>The Kansas Supreme Court is considering one man's appeal of the minimum 50-year sentence he received for pre-meditated, first-degree murder.</p><p>Matthew Astorga's case on Monday is the second appeal of the so-called "Hard 50" sentence since state legislators rewrote the law this fall.</p><p>Astorga was sentenced for a shooting death in Leavenworth County in 2008.</p><p>His lawyers argue the Legislature's changes amount to creating a new crime and punishment and are unconstitutional.</p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 14:47:40 +0000 Associated Press 27357 at http://kmuw.org Legislator Proposes Change To 'Hard 50' http://kmuw.org/post/legislator-proposes-change-hard-50 <p>A proposal for strengthening the "Hard 50" murder sentencing law in Kansas is likely to be considered next year by legislators. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 23:42:14 +0000 Associated Press 27235 at http://kmuw.org Court Set To Hear First Hard 50 Appeal Since Law Change http://kmuw.org/post/court-set-hear-first-hard-50-appeal-law-change <p>Kansas Supreme Court justices are set to hear the first appeal of a Hard 50 prison sentence since lawmakers changed the way the sentence is imposed during a September special session. Mon, 21 Oct 2013 22:40:41 +0000 Associated Press 25171 at http://kmuw.org Special Session Yields Ideas For 2014 Legislation http://kmuw.org/post/special-session-yields-ideas-2014-legislation <p>The recent special legislative session in Kansas could lead to new bills for consideration in 2014. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 21:54:29 +0000 Stephen Koranda 23171 at http://kmuw.org Changes To The Hard 50 Law Could Take Effect Soon http://kmuw.org/post/changes-hard-50-law-could-take-effect-soon <p><font size="2"><span style="font-size:10pt;">Changes in the Kansas law allowing convicted murderers to be sentenced to at least 50 years in prison are likely to </span></font><font size="2"><span style="font-size:10pt;">take effect by September 19th.<br>&nbsp;<br>A bill says they take effect once it's printed in the Kansas register, which is published each Thursday.<br>&nbsp;<br>Under the bill, juries--and no longer judges-- will determine whether a defendant convicted of premeditated, first-degree murder gets the "Hard 50" sentence. </span></font></p> Fri, 06 Sep 2013 12:33:46 +0000 Associated Press 23034 at http://kmuw.org Kansas House Passes Rewrite Of 'Hard 50' Law http://kmuw.org/post/kansas-house-passes-rewrite-hard-50-law <p>Kansas House has unanimously passed a fix for the state's Hard 50 sentencing law.<br><br>The law allows judges to sentence certain convicted murderers to at least 50 years in prison before the possibility for parole.<br><br>The House's proposed revision would change the process so that juries also play a part in giving the sentences.<br><br>Republican representative Lance Kinzer of Olathe says the fix will help preserve the original intent of the bill:<br><br>"that those who commit the most heinous murders are...incarcerated for no less than 50 years prior...to parole."<br> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 12:25:45 +0000 Stephen Koranda 22907 at http://kmuw.org Hard 50 Fix Clears House Committee http://kmuw.org/post/hard-50-fix-clears-house-committee <p>A Kansas House committee Tuesday passed a proposed fix for the state’s Hard 50 sentencing law. Tue, 03 Sep 2013 20:45:14 +0000 Stephen Koranda 22878 at http://kmuw.org Lawmakers Recommend Fix For KS Hard 50 Law http://kmuw.org/post/lawmakers-recommend-fix-ks-hard-50-law <p>A legislative committee is recommending a bill to amend the state's so-called Hard 50 sentencing law.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The changes would allow juries to decide if convicted murderers deserve 50 years in prison without the possibility of parole.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Under the old system, judges would decide if a crime warranted the harsher sentence of 50 years without parole. But the U.S. Supreme Court recently said judges can't make those decisions.</span></p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 12:39:33 +0000 Stephen Koranda 22519 at http://kmuw.org Work On Hard 50 Sentencing Law Begins Monday http://kmuw.org/post/work-hard-50-sentencing-law-begins-monday <p>A legislative committee is expected to meet Monday to begin work on modifying the state's so-called Hard 50 sentencing law.<br><br>A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling raised questions about whether the law could stand as-is. The Kansas law allows judges to sentence convicted murderers to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years. The committee is headed by Representative Lance Kinzer, a Republican from Olathe. Kinzer says the committee will hold a public hearing on a fix proposed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt.<br> Sun, 25 Aug 2013 12:36:23 +0000 Stephen Koranda 22440 at http://kmuw.org What Will Become Of The Hard 50? http://kmuw.org/post/what-will-become-hard-50 <p></p><p>The Kansas Legislature will hold a special session starting September 3rd to address the “Hard 50” law that allows judges to sentence convicted murderers to serve at least 50 years in prison. A recent Supreme Court case said a jury needs to be part of those decisions. Thu, 15 Aug 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Carla Eckels 21955 at http://kmuw.org