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May 20, 2016, Appellate Court Digests
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Kansas Supreme Court – Criminal

Crimes and punishments; Statutes
State v. Nguyen
Sedgwick District Court – Affirmed
No. 112,316 – May 20, 2016

FACTS: Nguyen entered no contest plea to felony murder with kidnapping as an underlying felony. District court denied Nguyen’s motion for downward durational departure, stating it had no discretion to depart from life sentence for felony murder. Nguyen appealed her sentence, arguing State v. Gleason, 277 Kan. 624 (2004), implicitly acknowledged such discretion for departure.

ISSUE: Life sentence for felony murder

HELD: History and legislative intent of K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 21-6806(c) is examined. Nguyen’s argument for district court’s discretion is not supported by Gleason and is inconsistent with subsequent caselaw. District court did not err in concluding K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 21-6806(c) does not authorize a district court to depart from a life sentence for felony murder.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 21-5401, -5402, -5421, -5422, -5901, -6617, -6618, -6619, -6620, -6620(b)(1), -6622, -6624, -6625, -6627, -6627(d)(1), -6628, -6629, -6801 et seq., -6806(c), -6815, 22-3601(b)(3), -3601(b)(4), -3717; K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 21-5402(a)(2); K.S.A. 21-4706(c)

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