"Kansas death penalty debate shifts to House panel," is the AP report by John Milburn, via the Salina Journal.
Convicted murderers sentenced to death in Kansas would face a shortened appeals process under a proposal a House committee plans to consider this week, but critics of the plan said it needs a much broader review.
The measure creates a 31/2-year time limit for the appeals to be heard and decided by the court. It also sets limits on the length of documents that can be filed in death penalty to appeals to the state court, and requires the appeals to be placed ahead of all other cases pending before the justices. It would not affect any subsequent appeals, including those made to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supporters have argued that the Kansas death penalty process takes too long to get from a capital murder conviction to an execution. No one has been executed in the state since 1965. Nine men are under death sentences in state prisons, and no execution dates have been set because appeals are still pending in state courts. There are nine men on death row, and no defendant has been executed since the penalty was reinstated in 1994.
The measure passed the Senate on Feb. 13 and was assigned to a conference committee in the House for an organizational hearing this week.
Earlier coverage from Kansas begins at the link.