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Kan. committee begin work on 'Hard 50' measure

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A select legislative committee has finished work on a proposal to amend the Kansas "Hard 50" prison sentence in the wake of a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The panel of House and Senate judiciary leaders voted Monday to recommend the bill's introduction when legislators meet next week in special session. The measure will be introduced in the House Judiciary Committee.

The legislation changes how the mandatory 50 year prison sentence is imposed on certain convicted murder defendants. The Supreme Court ruled in a Virginia case that mandatory sentences must be imposed by juries, not by judges as has been the case in Kansas.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback called the special session, scheduled to last three days, for legislators to fix the law.