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KANSAS CRIMINAL CASES 2/14/20

Posted by Adam Stolte | Feb 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

KANSAS COURT OF APPEALS

No published cases.

KANSAS SUPREME COURT

State v. Peterson, No. 119314

A motion to correct an illegal sentence cannot raise claims that a sentence violates a constitutional provision.  Peterson's Hard-25 challenge failed.

State v. Newman, No. 118608

1. When reviewing a district court's consideration of a motion to withdraw a guilty plea before sentencing, an appellate court does not reweigh evidence or reassess witness credibility, but will reverse the lower court only for an abuse of discretion.

2. A sentencing court has no authority to impose lifetime postrelease supervision on an off-grid, indeterminate life sentence.

State v. Boeschling, No. 116757: Jury Nullification

With regard to the jury nullification issue, the Kansas Supreme Court stated the following was not error:

During deliberations, the jury sent a question to the district judge, asking "can jury nolification [sic] be applied to counts #3 and #4?" Counts three and four were the firearms charges. Without objection from the State or Boeschling, the district judge responded: "You took the oath as jurors at the start of the case to follow the law in the case that you were instructed by the case."

1. A district court judge does not err in answering a jury's question about whether nullification can be applied in a case by saying: "You took the oath as jurors at the start of the case to follow the law in the case that you were instructed by the case." This response did not misinform jurors or coerce them into convicting the defendant.

2. A district court judge errs by adding a culpable mental state of "knowingly" to a burglary instruction that otherwise includes the correct mens rea of "intent to commit a theft." But the error does not qualify as clear and thus reversible, as it adds to rather than subtracts from the State's burden to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

3. State v. Anthony, 242 Kan. 493, 749 P.2d 37 (1988), is still good law. A district court judge may instruct a jury to view an accomplice's testimony with caution even when that testimony is favorable to a criminal defendant.

State v. Fowler, No. 116803: Double counting prior misdemeanor battery convictions

1. For a multiple-conviction case, the phrase "the present crime of conviction" in K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 21-6810(d)(9) refers to a criminal defendant's current primary grid crime for which an accurate criminal history and the severity level of the crime determine the applicable base sentence under the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act.

2. A sentencing judge's use of the same two prior misdemeanor domestic batteries both to calculate a defendant's criminal history for his or her base sentence on a current primary grid crime and to elevate a current domestic battery to a felony does not violate K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 21-6810(d)(9)'s restriction on double counting.

About the Author

Adam Stolte

Adam D. Stolte's journey toward becoming an attorney began when he was young. Growing up Adam always had a knack for problem-solving and researching solutions. It was this sense of curiosity and problem-solving that led to him becoming a cryptologic technician in the U.S. Navy. During his time in...

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