Bill introduced to abolish death penalty in Kansas

Topeka — A bill was introduced Thursday that would abolish the death penalty in Kansas.

State Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler, said the bill would replace capital punishment with a sentence of life without parole.

The measure would also establish a fund for anticipated savings from eliminating the death penalty, and use those savings to assist families of homicide victims.

The last time the Kansas Legislature debated repeal of the death penalty was in 2010 when the Senate voted 20-20 to abolish capital punishment. That was one vote less than the 21-vote majority needed to advance the measure.

Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994, but no executions have been carried out since then.

Supporters of abolishing the death penalty say it requires extra funding to litigate death penalty cases, which robs dollars from other budget needs.

Becker’s bill was introduced before the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.