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Salina Technical College

US Supreme Court Decision Threatens Kansas Sentences

Associated Press - July 21, 2013 12:41 am

A southern Kansas man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually attacked a mother of four before fatally setting her on fire.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision that found juries should have the final say on facts triggering mandatory minimum sentences could impact “hard 50” cases now on appeal in Kansas.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett also told The Wichita Eagle that the ruling could also change the way prosecutors deal with first-degree murder cases in the future.

It could also affect any “hard 50” case in Kansas that is on appeal.

Among them is the first-degree murder appeal from Scott Roeder for killing abortion provider George Tiller in 2009.

The ruling has already prompted the Kansas Attorney General’s Office to drop plans to seek a hard 50 sentence against Brett Seacat. He was convicted last month of killing his wife and setting their Kingman home on fire in 2011.

Information from: The Wichita Eagle, http://www.kansas.co