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Kan. committee gets anti-racketeering bill

Published on -1/31/2013, 7:27 AM

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas lawmakers are considering an anti-racketeering measure aimed at boosting sentences for convicted gang leaders.

The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/X8qj1X ) that the Senate bill would create the Kansas Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, better known as RICO.

The statute would resemble the federal RICO law, which was enacted to combat the Mafia and allows prosecutors to charge gang members for engaging in a string of criminal activity, rather than for individual crimes.

The Kansas measure faced a possible vote Thursday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A similar bill died in the House two years in a row but it's been updated with stricter provisions focusing mainly on serious felonies.

Wichita Police Lt. Scott Heimerman helped draft the revised measure, which he says is aimed at gang leaders.

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