"State legislators hear death penalty measures," is AP coverage, via the Garden City Telegram.
Kansas Sen. Greg Smith, whose own daughter was brutally murdered seven years ago, told a committee of state lawmakers Thursday that they should reject a bill that would abolish the death penalty.
Smith, a former police officer, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that such proposals are hurtful because they force families to relive the deaths of loved ones.
"Stay out of it. The people of Kansas have spoken through their elected officials. This is the law," said Smith, an Overland Park Republican.
The testimony was part of an extended hearing on the bill. Senators took no action and may hear additional comments next week.
The proposal would repeal the current death penalty law effective July 1, after which the sentence for a new crime of aggravated murder would be life without parole. The sentences for the nine men currently under death sentences would be carried out and they could not be commuted by a governor.
Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994 but has not carried out an execution under that law. The last execution in Kansas was in 1965.
State senators deadlocked 20 to 20 in 2010 over a similar death penalty abolition bill.
"Kansas death penalty hearing touches deep emotions," is by Dion Lefler for the Wichita Eagle. It's via the Kansas City Star.
In a two-hour hearing of tearful testimony from families of victims and men falsely convicted of murder, state senators got their first look Thursday at a bill to repeal the death penalty in Kansas.
The far-ranging hearing touched on religion, retribution, cost and community.
Senate Bill 126 would eliminate the death penalty and establish life without possibility of parole as the maximum sentence Kansas could impose. The bill would prohibit the governor from reducing the sentence.
Wichita lawyer Steven Robison represented the Kansas Judicial Council, a group of judges and legal experts who research and recommend changes in the legal system. The council is updating a 2009 study on the cost of the death penalty compared with life sentences.
The council, neutral on the issue, found that in general a death penalty case is three to four times more expensive.
"Senate panel delves into death penalty repeal bill," is the Topeka Capital-Journal report by Tim Carpenter.
Catholic Archbishop Joseph Naumann made a faith-based case Thursday during a standing-room-only Senate hearing for passage of a bill repealing capital punishment in Kansas.
His position was echoed by more than a dozen people working to influence the Senate Judiciary Committee, while advocates of the death penalty, including family members of slain people, urged lawmakers to retain the law as a valuable tool in fighting violent crime. Their focus was a Senate bill replacing a sentence of death with life without parole.
Naumann, who serves the Catholic archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., said he offered testimony with an unusual appreciation of pain caused when a loved one died in a violent crime. His father was slain in 1948 when his mother was pregnant with him.
Earlier coverage from Kansas begins at the link.