Gov. Sam Brownback was persuaded of the need to call a $35,000-a-day special session of the Legislature on Sept. 3 to rewrite the state’s “Hard 50” law, because of questions about its constitutionality in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last month in a Virginia case. Brownback called the session Friday in response to Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s warning that at least two dozen murder cases could be affected. The Hard 50 sentences now in doubt include that for Scott Roeder, convicted of murdering Wichita abortion provider George Tiller in 2009. Now that Brownback has decided that a special session is unavoidable, it will be up to legislative leaders to keep it narrowly focused and brief.
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