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February 9, 2018 Digests

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 12, 2018

Kansas Supreme Court

Criminal

constitutional law—criminal law—death penalty—judges—juries—jury instructions—statutes
state v. kahler
osage district court—affirmed
106981—february 9, 2018

FACTS: Kahler convicted in part of capital murder. No dispute that he fatally shot four victims, but defense argued severe depression rendered Kahler incapable of forming the intent and premeditation required for capital murder. On appeal Kahler claimed:

  1. prosecutor improperly objected to defense counsel's attempt during closing argument to repeat words on a Life Alert recording made during the killings;
  2. six instances of judicial misconduct during trial;
  3. district court erred in not instructing jury on expert witness testimony;
  4. adoption of mens rea approach in K.S.A. 22-3220 unconstitutionally deprived Kahler of asserting an insanity defense;
  5. district court filed to sua sponte instruct jury on felony murder as a lesser included offense;
  6. district court denied Kahler a fair trial by prohibiting defense counsel from questioning prospective jurors about their views on the death penalty;
  7. cumulative trial errors denied Kahler a fair trial;
  8. death sentence imposed upon a severely mentally ill person violates the Eighth Amendment;
  9. the two statutory aggravating factors advanced by the State to justify the death penalty were unconstitutional; and
  10. insufficient evidence supported jury's finding that the crime was committed in an especially heinous atrocious, or cruel manner.

ISSUES:

  1. Prosecutorial error;
  2. judicial misconduct;
  3. expert witness instruction;
  4. constitutionality of Kansas death penalty statute;
  5. lesser offense felony murder instruction;
  6. limitations on defense voir dire;
  7. cumulative error during guilt phase;
  8. Eighth Amendment categorical challenge to death penalty;
  9. constitutionality of aggravating circumstances;
  10. sufficiency of the evidence of an aggravating factor

HELD: Prosecutor's objection was within the permissible latitude to object to the defense summation going beyond the admitted evidence. The alleged ill will of the prosecutor in making the objection has no bearing on whether the objection itself was prosecutorial error.

Specific allegations of judicial misconduct examined, finding only one harmless error:

  1. While district court's preliminary admonition against outbursts of opinion was reasonable, better practice to also clarify that panel members would have opportunity to raise personal concerns outside the presence of other venire members.
  2. Merely requesting trial counsel to move faster if possible is not judicial misconduct, but better practice to make such administrative requests out of panel's presence.
  3. District court's editorial comment about the instruction that counsels' statements are not evidence, given right after defense opening statement, was harmless error.
  4. No misconduct in district court judge questioning a witness for clarification, but better practice to follow the procedure in State v. Boyd, 222 Kan.155 (1977).
  5. District court's premature sustaining of prosecutor's objection to defense counsel repeating words on Life Alert recording was not judicial misconduct, but it was unassigned trial error which alone did not require reversal.
  6. District court's remarks before sending jurors to deliberate did not discourage jurors from asking any questions.

District court erred in refusing to give the requested instruction on expert witness credibility, but error was harmless.

Kahler's arguments are the same as those considered and rejected in State v. Bethel, 275 Kan. 456 (2003), which held the mental disease or defect defense adopted in K.S.A. 22-3220 did not unconstitutionally abrogate Kansas's former insanity defense. Further review of Bethel is not warranted.

Felony murder is not a lesser included offense of capital murder.

Under facts in this case, district court did not prohibit defense counsel from questioning prospective jurors during voir dire about their views on the death penalty.

Cumulative effect of trial errors did not deny Kahler a fair trial, and the identified guilt-phase errors are not the type to impact the same jury's sentencing determination.

Pursuant to State v. Kleypas, 305 Kan. 224 (2016), the Kansas death penalty is not categorically disproportionate punishment for offenders who are severely mentally ill at the time they commit their crimes.

Kansas cases have rejected Kahler's challenge to the constitutionality of the two statutory aggravating factors found in his case.

State presented sufficient evidence to establish that the killings were committed in a heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner. Evidence supports the jury's weighing determination of mitigating and aggravating circumstances, and the jury's sentencing verdict.

CONCURRENCE and DISSENT (Biles, J., joined by Stegall, J.): Concurs with majority's decision to confirm Kahler's convictions and sentences, but disagrees with majority's finding of misconduct and error by the district court judge's aside that “I normally don't do this” before giving pattern jury instruction about remarks of counsel. If error, agrees it was harmless. At worst, this should be a simple “teaching moment” to caution judges about banter with juries.

DISSENT (Johnson, J): Addresses each claim individually, generally agreeing with majority's analysis and decisions on all issues but for the following:

  • Disagrees with majority's suggestion that prosecutor's bad faith or ill will can never play any role in error analysis.
  • Disagrees with majority's reliance on Bethel to reject Kahler's constitutional challenge to K.S.A. 22-3220. Death penalty was not involved in Bethel, and Kansas Supreme Court is obligated to independently analyze whether the procedure of replacing insanity defense with mens rea approach undermines the reliability of jury's determination to impose death penalty.
  • Agrees the cumulative effect of trial errors in this case do not require reversal of the guilty verdict, but strongly disagrees that guilt-phase errors can be ignored when considering the same jury's penalty-phase decision. Would hold the errors in this case undermined the reliability of jury's death sentence, which should be vacated and remanded for a new sentencing trial.
  • Expands his Kleypas dissent to now address Kahler's Eighth Amendment claim. Categorical protection of mentally retarded defendants in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), is discussed and critically compared to mentally ill defendants under Kleypas.
  • As unassigned error impacting fairness and justice, reasserts his conclusion that the death penalty violates the Kansas Constitution.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-3439(a)(6), -5402(d), -6617, -6619, -6619(b), 22-3414(3); K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 21-5402; K.S.A. 21-3439(a), 22-3220, -3420(3)

Kansas Court of Appeals

Civil

APPELLATE PROCEDURE—JUDGMENTS
CITY OF TOPEKA V. RAMOS
SHAWNEE DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED
NO. 116,825 – FEBRUARY 9, 2018

FACTS: Ramos was ticketed by city police for traffic infractions. Without appearing in court, Ramos pled no contest and paid his ticket and court costs. Ramos apparently had a change of heart, and three months later he filed a motion to withdraw his plea. The motion was denied by a municipal judge, and Ramos appealed to district court. Once the case was in district court the city filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the district court lacked jurisdiction because the appeal was filed more than 14 days after Ramos paid his fine. The district court granted the city's motion and Ramos appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Timeliness of the notice of appeal; (2) jurisdiction to consider motion to withdraw plea

HELD: Because Ramos never appeared in court, his sentence was effective on the date in September 2015 when he paid his fine online. Ramos did not file his notice of appeal to the district court until January 2016, well outside of the 14 days allowed by statute. Ramos' appeal was untimely and the district court did not err by dismissing the case on timeliness grounds. The ability to appeal the denial of a motion to withdraw plea differs depending on whether the plea was accepted by a municipal court or by a district magistrate judge or district judge. The plain language of K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 22-3609(a) does not allow for an appeal from the denial of a motion to withdraw plea that was entered in municipal court.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 22-3602, -3602(a), -3609, -3609(a), -3609(b), -3609a(a); K.S.A. 12-4102, -4103, -4305(a), -4305(c), -4508

Tags:  constitutional law  death penalty  judges  jury  Osage  Shawnee 

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August 11, 2017 Digests

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 14, 2017

Kansas Supreme Court

 

Criminal

 

constitutional law—criminal procedure—sentences—statutes
state v. burdick
riley district court—affirmed; court of appeals—affirmed
no. 110472 - august 11, 2017

FACTS: Burdick was convicted of a drug offense, and was required by Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) to register with sheriff within ten days of residing in the county. KORA was later amended to require registration updates within three business days. Burdick was subsequently arrested and charged with failing to timely update his registration. Burdick sought dismissal of the charge, arguing application of the amended registration period violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. District court denied the motion. Court of Appeals affirmed in unpublished opinion, holding the registration requirement was not punishment. Review granted.

ISSUE: Kansas Offender Registration Act - Ex Post Facto Claim

HELD: As set forth in State v. Meredith, 306 Kan. __ (2017), non-sex offenders seeking to avoid retroactive application of KORA provisions must, in order to satisfy the “effects” prong of test in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), produce a record that distinguishes - by the “clearest proof”- KORA’s effect on those classes of offenders from the Act’s effects on sex offenders as a class. Record in Burdick’s case is not sufficiently developed to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard.”  

DISSENT (Beier, J., joined by Rosen and Johnson, JJ.): Consistent with votes in State v. Petersen-Beard, 304 Kan. 192 (2016), State v. Reed, 306 Kan. __ (2017), and Meredith, finds the current KORA registration requirement is punishment in effect if not intent, whether claim is raised under Ex Post Facto Clause or Eighth Amendment. And it is no less so for a drug offender than a sex offender.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 22-4905(g); K.S.A. 2008 Supp. 22-4902(a)(11)(C); K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq., -4904(a)(2)

 

constitutional law—criminal procedure—sentences—statutes
state v. donaldson
sedgwick district court—affirmed—court of appeals—affirmed
no. 109,671—august 11, 2017

FACTS: On appeal Donaldson alleges in part his lifetime offender registration under Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) violates the Ex Post Facto Clause because at the time he committed the crimes, he would have been subject to registration only if the victim of the aggravated kidnapping charge was under the age of 18. Court of Appeals affirmed in unpublished opinion. Review granted.

ISSUE: Kansas Offender Registration Act - Ex Post Facto Claim

HELD: As set forth in State v. Meredith, 306 Kan. __ (2017), non-sex offenders seeking to avoid retroactive application of KORA provisions must, in order to satisfy “effects” prong of test in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), produce a record that distinguishes - by the “clearest proof”- KORA’s effect on those classes of offenders from the Act’s effects on sex offenders as a class. Record in Donaldson’s case is not sufficiently developed to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard.”

DISSENT (Beier, J., joined by Rosen and Johnson, JJ.): Consistent with votes in State v. Petersen-Beard, 304 Kan. 192 (2016), State v. Reed, 306 Kan. __ (2017), and Meredith, finds the current KORA registration requirement is punishment in effect if not intent, whether claim is raised under Ex Post Facto Clause or Eighth Amendment. And it is no less so for a drug offender than a sex offender.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 22-4906(d)(10); K.S.A. 2010 Supp. 22-4902(a)(4)(B), -4906(a); K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq.

 

constitutional law—criminal procedure—sentences—statutes
state v. hill
crawford district court—affirmed; court of appeals—affirmed
no. 111,226—august 11, 2017

FACTS: Hill was convicted of two drug offenses. District court required her to register as a violent offender, pursuant to the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) as amended prior to Hill’s sentencing. On appeal Hill claimed the retroactive application of the registration requirement violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. Court of Appeals affirmed in an unpublished opinion. Review granted.

ISSUE: Kansas Offender Registration Act—Ex Post Facto Claim

HELD: As set forth in State v. Meredith,  306 Kan. __ (2017), non-sex offenders seeking to avoid retroactive application of KORA provisions must, in order to satisfy “effects” prong of test in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), produce a record that distinguishes - by the “clearest proof”- KORA’s effect on those classes of offenders from the Act’s effects on sex offenders as a class. Record in Hill’s case is not sufficiently developed to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard.”

DISSENT (Beier, J., joined by Rosen and Johnson, JJ.): Consistent with votes in State v. Petersen-Beard, 304 Kan. 192 (2016), State v. Reed, 306 Kan. __ (2017), and Meredith, finds the current KORA registration requirement is punishment in effect if not intent, whether claim is raised under Ex Post Facto Clause or Eighth Amendment. And it is no less so for a drug offender than a sex offender.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 22-4902(f)(2); K.S.A. 2009 Supp. 22-4902(a)(11)(B)

 

constitutional law—criminal procedure—sentences—statutes
state v. hirschberg
shawnee district court—
affirmed; court of appeals—affirmed
no. 109,689—august 11, 2017

FACTS: Hirschberg was convicted of a drug offense and was required under the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) to register as a violent offender for 15 years instead of 10 years, pursuant to KORA as amended prior to his sentencing. On appeal Hirschberg claimed the retroactive application of the longer registration requirement violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. Court of Appeals affirmed in an unpublished opinion. Review granted.

ISSUE: Kansas Offender Registration Act - Ex Post Facto Claim

HELD: As set forth in State v. Meredith,  306 Kan. __ (2017), non-sex offenders seeking to avoid retroactive application of KORA provisions must, in order to satisfy “effects” prong of test in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), produce a record that distinguishes - by the “clearest proof”- KORA’s effect on those classes of offenders from the Act’s effects on sex offenders as a class. Record in Hirschberg’s case is not sufficiently developed to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard.”

DISSENT (Beier, J., joined by Rosen and Johnson, JJ.): Consistent with votes in State v. Petersen-Beard, 304 Kan. 192 (2016), State v. Reed, 306 Kan. __ (2017), and Meredith, finds the current KORA registration requirement is punishment in effect if not intent, whether claim is raised under Ex Post Facto Clause or Eighth Amendment. And it is no less so for a drug offender than a sex offender.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 22-4906(a)(1)(O); K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq.

 

constitutional law—criminal procedure—sentences—statutes
state v. huey
shawnee district court—affirmed as to issues subject to review
court of appeals—affirmed as to issues subject to review
no. 109,690—august 11, 2017

FACTS: Huey was convicted of robbery and aggravated burglary, and was ordered to register as a violent offender under Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) after district judge found Huey used a deadly weapon to commit those offenses. On appeal, Huey claimed for first time that the KORA registration requirement violated Booker/Apprendi because jury did not find he had used a deadly weapon.

ISSUES: Kansas Offender Registration Act—Apprendi

HELD: State v. Petersen-Beard, 304 Kan. 192, cert. denied (2016), held that KORA registration for sex offenders was not cruel and unusual punishment under Eighth Amendment.  This overturned caselaw that supported State v. Charles, 304 Kan. 158 (2016), thus Charles is not viable authority for Huey or other violent offenders as to whether KORA is punitive. That issue may be resolved only upon an evidentiary record supplying the clearest proof to overcome the legislature’s intent that KORA be a regulatory scheme that is civil and nonpunitive. Huey did not establish such a record in this case. District court’s offender registration order is affirmed.

DISSENT (Beier, J., joined by Rose and Johnson, JJ.): Would not explicitly or implicitly overrule Charles. Huey met any burden of proof he bears on whether the imposition of the registration requirement qualifies as punishment. Under Apprendi and its progeny, Huey’s registration requirement should be vacated because he cannot be subjected to that requirement on the basis of a judge-made fact finding that he used a deadly weapon.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 20-3018(b), 22-4901 et seq., 60-2101(b)

 

constitutional law—criminal procedure—sentences—statutes
state v. kilpatrick
reno district court—affirmed; court of appeals—affirmed
no. 111,055—August 11, 2017

FACTS: Kilpatrick filed motion to correct an illegal sentence, arguing the retroactive imposition of registration requirements under the Kansas Offender Registration Requirements (KORA) violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. District court denied the motion, agreeing with State’s arguments that KORA’s provisions are not punishment, and that Kilpatrick waived jurisdictional attacks on his sentence by not raising them in his case. Court of Appeals affirmed in unpublished opinion. Petition for review of the registration requirement granted.

ISSUE: Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence - Ex Post Facto Claim

HELD: District court's decision is affirmed for a different reason. Following State v. Wood, 306 Kan. 283 (2017), and State v. Reese, 306 Kan. 279 (2017), district court had jurisdiction to hear and consider Kilpatrick’s motion to correct an illegal sentence, but his ex post facto claim has no merit because definition of an illegal sentence does not include a claim the sentence violates a constitutional provision.   

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 22-3716(c)(9); K.S.A. 22-4902; K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq., -4902(a)(11)(B)

 

constitutional lawcriminal law—criminal procedure—evidence—
instructions—juries—speedy trial—statutes
state v. robinson
wyandotte district court—affirmed; court of appeals—affirmed
no. 110,040—august 11, 2017

FACTS: A jury convicted Robinson of aggravated burglary, aggravated battery, and criminal damage to property. Robinson appealed, claiming in part: (1)  a violation of his statutory rights to a speedy trial because continuance granted to State for a material witness was not supported by a sufficient showing of unavailability; (2) insufficient evidence supported his aggravated burglary conviction because he was a cohabitant;  (3) the jury instruction on “bodily harm” was erroneous because it directed jury that certain circumstances are bodily harm as a matter of law, and thereby precluded jury from finding that element beyond a reasonable doubt; (4) district court erred in refusing to redact victim’s statement to a doctor; (5) district court erred in admitting K.S.A. 60-455 evidence without providing a limiting instruction; (6) the written format of district court’s answer to jury’s deliberation questions violated Robinson’s rights to be present, to have a public trial, and to  have an impartial judge; and  (7) cumulative error denied him a fair trial. Court of Appeals affirmed in unpublished opinion. Review granted.  

ISSUES: (1) Speedy Trial, (2) Sufficiency of the Evidence - Aggravated Battery, (3) “Bodily Harm” Instruction, (4) Motion to Redact, (5) Limiting Instruction, (6) Written Response to Jury’s Questions, (7) Cumulative Error

HELD: Robinson’s statutory speedy trial rights were not violated. While a slim record substantiates State’s claim that the witness was unavailable, and better practice would be to present evidence in support of a request for such a continuance, Robinson’s claim in this case is unpreserved. Sufficient evidence supported Robinson’s conviction of aggravated burglary. Under conflicting facts viewed in light most favorable to the State, a reasonable juror could conclude that Robinson lacked authority to enter the home. Robinson’s constitutional challenge to the aggravated battery statute, raised for first time on appeal, is not reviewed. 

District court’s instruction on “bodily harm” was legally and factually appropriate. Under facts in this case, Robison’s objection to the doctor’s testimony was not properly preserved for appellate review. District court failed to provide a limiting instruction regarding the admission of K.S.A. 60-455 evidence, but this was harmless error under facts in the case. Robinson abandoned his arguments regarding rights to a public trial and an impartial judge. Even assuming a violation of Robinson’s right to be present, the error was harmless in this case. Robinson’s cumulative error claim fails because evidence against him was strong, and the two assumed errors in this case were harmless.  

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2016 Supp 22-3402(a), -3414(3); K.S.A. 21-3414(a)(1)(A)-(B), 22-3402, -3402(3), -3402(5), -3402(5)(c), 60-402, -455

 

constitutional law—criminal procedure—
sentences—statutes
state v. wingo
crawford district court—affirmed; court of appeals—affirmed
no. 108,275—august 11, 2017

FACTS: Wingo convicted of second-degree intentional murder and was required under the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) to register as a violent offender for 15 years instead of 10 years, pursuant to KORA as amended prior to her sentencing. On appeal Wingo claimed the retroactive application of the longer registration requirement violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. Court of Appeals affirmed in an unpublished opinion. Review granted.  

ISSUE: Kansas Offender Registration Act - Ex Post Facto Claim

HELD: As set forth in State v. Meredith,  306 Kan. __ (2017), non-sex offenders seeking to avoid retroactive application of KORA provisions must, in order to satisfy “effects” prong of test in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), produce a record that distinguishes - by the “clearest proof”- KORA’s effect on those classes of offenders from the Act’s effects on sex offenders as a class. Record in Wingo’s case is not sufficiently developed to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard.”

DISSENT (Beier, J., joined by Rosen and Johnson, JJ.): Consistent with votes in State v. Petersen-Beard, 304 Kan. 192 (2016), State v. Reed, 306 Kan. __ (2017), and Meredith, finds the current KORA registration requirement is punishment in effect if not intent, whether claim is raised under Ex Post Facto Clause or Eighth Amendment. And it is no less so for a drug offender than a sex offender.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 22-4906(a)(1)(G); K.S.A. 2009 Supp. 22-4902(d)(3); K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq., -4906(a)

 

 

Kansas Court of Appeals –

 

Civil

 

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW—JURISDICTION
WALL V. DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
RUSSELL DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED
NO. 116,779—AUGUST 11, 2017

FACTS: Wall was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The arresting officer completed a DC-27 form showing that Wall failed a breath test. But the actual test results show that no breath sample was given. The officer also failed to mark several boxes on the form that must be completed in the event that a test subject fails a breath test. Wall appealed, arguing lack of reasonable grounds to request the test and that his due process rights were violated. After the suspension of Wall's driver's license was upheld, he filed a petition for judicial review. At that proceeding Wall argued for the first time that the suspension should be dismissed because of the irregularities with the DC-27 form. The district court granted Wall's motion for summary judgment and the Department of Revenue appealed.

ISSUE: Jurisdiction to suspend Wall's driver's license

HELD: Because subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time there was no error in considering Wall's argument even though he failed to raise it at the administrative proceeding. And the Department of Revenue had an independent, statutory duty to verify the validity of the DC-27 form. Because the form was not properly completed the Department of Revenue lacked subject matter jurisdiction to suspend Wall's license and the district court correctly overturned the suspension.

STATUTE: K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 8-1002(a), -1002(a)(1), -1002

Tags:  Crawford  Reno  Riley  Russell  Sedgwick  Shawnee 

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June 16, 2017 Digests

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Kansas Supreme Court

Criminal

constitutional law—criminal procedure
search and seizure—sentences
state v. hachmeister
shawnee district court—affirmed
court of appeals—affirmed
no. 112,260—june 17, 2017

FACTS: Police obtained search warrants during investigation of the murder of Hachmeister’s mother. Discovery of pornographic images of apparently prepubescent children during search of Hachmeister’s computer resulted in his conviction on 105 counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Sentence imposed included lifetime registration as a sex offender, based on district court finding the victims in the images were under 14 years old. Hachmeister appealed, claiming in part the district court erred in denying Hachmeister’s motions to suppress the recovered images, and claiming the sex offender registration requirement violated Apprendi. Court of Appeals affirmed in unpublished opinion. Hachmeister’s petition for review granted on two issues: (1) whether evidence from his computer should have been suppressed because it was not properly within the scope of search warrants issued during the homicide investigation; and (2) whether the district court violated Apprendi when it made the factual finding the victims were under 14 years old. 

ISSUES: (1) Search warrants; (2) lifetime registration as sex offender

HELD: All search warrants issued are reviewed. Hachmeister failed to preserve his challenge to three of them. The affidavit supporting a fourth warrant provided a sufficient basis for the district court to conclude there was a fair probability that evidence related to the murder might be found on Hachmeister’s computer.  Because probable cause supported that warrant, it did not taint the remaining warrant being challenged.

As decided in State v. Petersen-Beard, 304 Kan. 192 (2016), lifetime sex offender registration is not punishment for constitutional purposes, thus the finding that the victims were under 14 years old did not expose Hachmeister to an increased penalty within the meaning of Apprendi.

DISSENT (Beier, J., joined by Rosen and Johnson, JJ.): Dissents from majority’s holding that lifetime sex offender registration is not punishment. 

STATUTE: K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq., 60-2101(b)

Kansas Court of Appeals

Civil

EVIDENCE—PARENTAL RIGHTS
IN RE L.M.B., A.B., AND L.B.
KIOWA DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED
NO. 116,155—JUNE 16, 2017

FACTS: The children in this case were removed after a relative alleged that the parents were using drugs in the home. All three children in this case are members of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. The tribe was notified about the child in need of care (CINC) action almost as soon as it was initiated and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation testified as an expert witness at the hearing on the motion to terminate parental rights. After their parental rights were terminated, both parents appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Sufficiency of the evidence; (2) qualification of the State's expert witness; (3) active efforts to prevent the breakup of the Indian family

HELD: There was sufficient evidence that the parents were unfit such that the termination of parental rights was warranted. The State's expert witness was a member of the children's tribe and—as a professor at an Indian Nations university—was recognized by the trial community as knowledgeable in tribal customs. It is undisputed that the State made every effort to involve the children's tribe and extended family members in order to protect the children's Indian culture. And any failure to complete reintegration tasks was caused by the parents' failures and not by a lack of support.

STATUTES: 25 U.S.C. § 1912(e), §1912(f), §1914; 25 U.S.C.A. § 1912(d), § 1912(f); K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 38-2269(a), 60-261

attorney and client—constitutional law
criminal law post-conviction relief
khalil-alsalaami v. state
riley district court—reversed and remanded
no. 115,184—june 17, 2017

FACTS: Jury’s conviction of Ziad Khalil-Alsalaami (Ziad) on two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy was affirmed on direct appeal. He then filed K.S.A. 60-1507 motion alleging ineffective assistance of counsel who represented him both at trial and on direct appeal. Allegations included counsel’s failure to request an interpreter at trial. District court conducted a full hearing and denied the motion. Ziad appealed. 

ISSUE: Ineffective assistance of counsel

HELD: Ziad’s allegations were reviewed in light of counsel’s overall trial strategy that DNA evidence was transferred to the victim, and that police tricked Ziad into a false confession. Under facts in this case, Ziad’s attorney was ineffective for not requesting an interpreter at trial.  Prejudice would be presumed because this implicated the basic consideration of fairness to Ziad. Other instances of ineffective assistance are further noted, including counsel’s failure to not raise the interpreter issue on direct appeal, failure to file a motion to suppress or to mount a defense at the Jackson v. Denno hearing, stipulating to the voluntariness of the confession, failing to object to prosecutor’s questions about Ziad’s conversation with his wife, failing to object to prosecutor’s misstatement of the evidence during closing argument, and failure to raise issue of prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument on direct appeal. These errors went to the heart of counsel’s defense strategy, and their cumulative effect impacted Ziad’s ability to receive a fair trial. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings. 

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-6627(a)(1)(D), 75-452; K.S.A. 22-3215, 60-404, -1507, 75-4351, -4351(b), -4351(e)

Criminal

creditors and debtors—criminal procedure—jurisdiction—restitution sentences—statutes
state v. jamerson
shawnee district court—reversed
no. 116,413—june 17, 2017

FACTS: Jamerson was convicted and sentenced in 2001 to prison term and over $5,000 in restitution. Restitution again ordered in 2013 resentencing. Thereafter, the district court entertained a request for and entered an order of garnishment of Jamerson’s prisoner account. Jamerson appealed, claiming the district court lacked jurisdiction to enter garnishment order prior to the conclusion of Jamerson’s resentencing appeal.

ISSUES: (1) Jurisdiction, (2) restitution

HELD: Kansas criminal code does not contain statutes outlining a procedure by which a person owed restitution may seek recovery of the judgment. When restitution is ordered, it is a judgment against the defendant which can be collected by garnishment proceedings as in any civil case. Although the district court lost jurisdiction to alter or amend Jamerson’s sentence while the case was on appeal—including the amount of restitution—it had jurisdiction to enter an order of garnishment.

District court erred when it entered order allowing garnishment of Jamerson’s inmate account. A district court has discretion to order payment of restitution while a defendant is incarcerated, but it must declare that intention unambiguously. In this case, district court failed to make clear that restitution was payable immediately, thus restitution did not become due until Jamerson's release.   

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-6604(b)(1), -6604(b)(2), 60-729(a), -731(a), -2103(d)(1); K.S.A. 2002 Supp. 21-4603d(a)(11), -4603d(b); K.S.A. 60-4301

criminal procedure—search and seizure
state v. lewis
sedgwick district court—reversed, sentence vacated and remanded
no. 115,285—june 17, 2017

FACTS: At the completion of a traffic stop, police had Lewis exit his car so dog sniff of car could be conducted. When the dog indicated drugs, the ensuing search resulted in the discovery of cocaine inside the center console. Lewis filed motion to suppress the evidence, contending in part the police unreasonably prolonged his traffic stop to obtain a dog sniff. District court denied the motion, finding the 21-minute stop was not excessive, and the dog’s aggressive indicator was sufficient probable cause for the search. District court also found the officer’s information from a confidential informant was sufficient to establish a reasonable suspicion that Lewis might be involved in criminal activity. Lewis was convicted on stipulated facts. On appeal, he claimed the district court erred in denying the motion to suppress, arguing in part the police unreasonably prolonged the traffic top to obtain a dog sniff.

ISSUES: (1) Reasonable suspicion, (2) traffic stop

HELD: No support in the record for State’s argument that reasonable suspicion to extend the traffic stop was based on Lewis’ jumpiness. And under facts in this case, the confidential informant’s anonymous tip would not have allowed officers to infer a reasonable suspicion of illegal conduct.

Under the circumstances, where the traffic investigation had just been completed as the drug sniffing dog arrived, the officers unreasonably prolonged the traffic stop to conduct the dog sniff. Lewis’ conviction is reversed, his sentence is vacated, and case is remanded with directions to grant his motion to suppress.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 21-36a06(a), -36a06(c)(1)

Tags:  Kiowa  Riley  Sedgwick  Shawnee 

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May 19, 2017 Digests

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Kansas Supreme Court

Criminal

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE—SENTENCING
STATE V. BAILEY
JOHNSON DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS
NO. 112,888—MAY 19, 2017

FACTS: Bailey was convicted of first-degree felony murder and sentenced to a term of life imprisonment. The district court also set a restitution amount of $37,521.07. Bailey's conviction was affirmed on direct appeal and he has had numerous other appeals relating to his sentence. This appeal comes after Bailey filed a motion to find that his restitution judgment was dormant and that any funds already paid should be reimbursed to him. He also appeals the denial of his motion to correct illegal sentence.

ISSUES: (1) Was restitution wrongly collected; (2) is Bailey's sentence illegal

HELD: The sentencing court merely provided an advisory calculation of restitution for the parole board to consider, rather than an enforceable judgment of restitution. Because there was no order, the dormancy statutes do not apply. But a clerical error triggered the wrongful collection of Bailey's money, and the case had to be remanded to correct that error which was affecting the current collection of restitution from Bailey. Bailey's offenses were properly classified and his sentence was not illegal.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 60-2403; K.S.A. 1993 Supp. 21-3401(b), -3427; K.S.A. 1991 Supp. 21-4603; K.S.A. 1986 Supp. 21-4603; K.S.A. 22-3504, 60-2403, -2404

EVIDENCE—JURY INSTRUCTIONS—PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT
STATE V. DAVIS
SHAWNEE DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART
NO. 113,537—MAY 19, 2017

 FACTS: Davis was arrested for the murder of 8-year-old, A.I. He was apprehended and taken to the police station. After an interrogation which detectives alleged was consensual, Davis admitted to multiple burglaries and also confessed that he beat, choked, and raped A.I. before putting her in the clothes dryer where she was found. Davis denied that he intended to kill her and expressed surprise that she was dead. Davis was convicted of multiple counts, including capital murder and rape. The jury declined to impose the death penalty.

ISSUES: (1) Was there sufficient evidence of premeditation; (2) was Davis prejudiced by prosecutorial misconduct; (3) was Davis' confession properly viewed as voluntary; (4) were the jury instructions erroneous; (5) were convictions for capital murder and rape multiplicitous

HELD: In order to prove lack of premedication, Davis must establish that evidence supporting the State's theory was legally insufficient. Death by strangulation presents strong evidence of premeditation. The prosecutor misstated the law during closing argument and injected error into the trial. Because of the ample evidence at trial, the error did not affect the trial's outcome. And if Davis meant to rely on a voluntary intoxication theory, he had the burden to prove impairment. The record supports the district court's decision not to suppress Davis' confession. The jury was instructed on unanimity in a separate instruction, rendering Davis' requested instruction unnecessary. Because the jury was properly instructed, there was no error in refusing a jury instruction that would merely have added emphasis. Because Davis was convicted of capital murder for a killing caused during commission of or subsequent to rape, his conviction for rape was multiplicitous and must be reversed.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 60-261; K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5401(a)(4), -5401(a)(7), -5402(a)(1)

Tags:  Johnson  Shawnee 

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