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Kansas Supreme Court to Hear Hard 50 Appeal

Associated Press - October 21, 2013 7:55 pm

A Kansas man who spent 15 years in prison for a killing he didn't commit says his case is a good example of why the state should repeal its death penalty.

A Kansas man who spent 15 years in prison for a killing he didn't commit says his case is a good example of why the state should repeal its death penalty.

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.

The case on Tuesday’s docket involves Dustin B. Hilt who was convicted in 2010 on first-degree murder charges for the 2009 death of a Johnson County woman. Hilt was one of three defendants convicted in the killing.

He was sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years, a term that was set by a judge.

Legislators changed that process in September during a two-day special session following June U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Virginia case that held that such departures in prison sentences can only be imposed by juries.

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