Gov. Sam Brownback announced Wednesday that he signed a bill this week to make the so-called “Hard 50” the presumed sentence for premeditated first-degree murder. The provision will apply to killings committed after June.
The new law will allow judges to decide whether a more lenient sentence than the “Hard 50” is warranted in first-degree murder cases.
Currently, prosecutors can seek a “Hard 50” sentence, but it can only be imposed by juries after weighing factors presented during a trial.
The new law also sets a minimum 25-year prison sentence for defendants convicted of attempted capital murder or committing murder during another felony.