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Court Set To Hear First Hard 50 Appeal Since Law Change

Kansas Supreme Court justices are set to hear the first appeal of a Hard 50 prison sentence since lawmakers changed the way the sentence is imposed during a September special session.

The case on today's docket involves Dustin B. Hilt who was convicted in 2010 on first-degree murder charges for the 2009 death of a Johnson County woman. Hilt was one of three defendants convicted in the killing.

He was sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years. That term that was set by a judge.

But legislators changed the sentencing process in September following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Virginia case that held that such prison sentences can only be imposed by juries.