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Kan. Supreme Court hearing Hard 50 appeal

Published on -10/22/2013, 7:25 AM

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments on whether revisions made last month by the Legislature in the state's "Hard 50" sentencing law should be applied retroactively.

A judge sentenced Johnson County resident Dustin B. Hilt in 2010 to life in prison without the chance of parole for 50 years for the murder of a 19-year-old woman.

Hilt's lawyer will argue Tuesday that the sentence should be thrown out in light of revisions passed by the Legislature. The amended law requires juries rather than judges to decide whether to impose the minimum 50-year sentence.

Hilt is asking the state's high court to decide if the revised law should be applied retroactively, reducing his sentence to 25, or to send the case back for determination of the sentence by a jury.

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