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Kansas Supreme Court Sets Aside ‘Hard 50′ Sentence

Associated Press - April 11, 2014 11:33 am

Governor Sam Brownback says Caleb Stegall is "one of the most qualified people" to ever be named to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Governor Sam Brownback says Caleb Stegall is "one of the most qualified people" to ever be named to the Kansas Supreme Court.

The Kansas Supreme Court has reversed the “Hard 50″ murder sentence of a Wichita man but refused to rule whether changes made by legislators to the law in 2013 can be applied.

Justices ruled Friday that the sentence for Rogelio Soto in a 2009 stabbing must be vacated because his rights were violated when a judge, rather than a jury, sentenced him to 50 years in prison with no possibility of parole.

The case is the first to be decided after a June 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found juries, not judges, must impose a maximum minimum sentence such as the “Hard 50.”

Kansas legislators who rewrote the law argued those changes should be applied only on pending “Hard 50″ cases and those on appeal.

City of Salina