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Kansas death penalty debate shifts to House panel

Associated Press - February 23, 2014 4:38 am

A Kansas House committee plans to hold informational hearings on a bill that would shorten the appeals process for inmates sentenced to die for capital murder, despite concerns the measure should get a broader review.

The measure passed the Senate on Feb. 13 and was sent to the House this week, where it was assigned to a conference committee. The measure shortens the open-ended nature of capital murder appeals in Kansas, limiting the time from conviction to a ruling on the initial appeal by the Kansas Supreme Court to three-and-a-half years.

Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994 and there are nine men under sentence of death. No defendant has been executed.

Critics argue the appeals process delays the execution of justice.

City of Salina