Archive for Thursday, February 6, 2003

Governor, AG outline anti-crime bills

Sebelius, Kline seek tougher penalties for some sex offenders

February 6, 2003


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Atty. Gen. Phill Kline are pushing anti-crime proposals that include tougher penalties for some sex offenders.

Staff members from both offices outlined the proposals Wednesday for the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee.

The five-part proposal would require a 40-year prison sentence for a second rape conviction. Currently, the maximum sentence is 22 years and three months.

Sebelius and Kline also want to declare that exposing a child to the sale, distribution or manufacture of methamphetamine constitutes child endangerment.

Their proposals would increase the sentence for promoting prostitution of a minor under age 16, to up to two years and 10 months in prison, instead of 19 months' probation.

In addition, Sebelius and Kline want to change a 1994 law that allows the state to confine sex offenders for treatment after their prison terms end if juries in separate civil trials declare them violent sexual predators.

The law requires that once a judge has found there is enough evidence to warrant a jury trial, that trial must start within 60 days.

Last year, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the 60-day deadline is absolute -- even if the defense agrees to a delay, or a judge delays a trial without any party requesting it.

Kline has said he was concerned that the people who have been declared predators but had their trials past the 60-day deadline could be released from state treatment programs.

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