Category: Statutory Interpretation

Shifting Sands: Kansas’s Criminal Sentencing Guidelines

Doug Bartel, Staff Editor State v. Terrell, No. 122,680 (Kan. Feb. 18, 2022) Issue: Does the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act (“the Act”), K.S.A. §§ 21-6801–6824, require courts to classify crimes as person or nonperson at the time of …

Changing the Rules in the Middle of the Game: The Ex Post Facto Clause and Clarifying State v. Reese

State v. Patton, No. 120,434, (Kan. Feb. 11, 2022). Issue:  In State v. Reese, the Kansas Supreme Court held that courts should apply the version of Kansas’ DUI sentencing provisions—K.S.A. 8-1567—in effect at the time of sentencing, even …

Challenging Prior Convictions in Kansas Sentencing: Who Has the Burden, and When?

Jeremiah Kemper, Staff Editor State v. Roberts, No. 121,682, (Kan. Nov. 19, 2021) Issue: Under K.S.A. § 21-6814(c), when a defendant challenges the constitutionality of their prior convictions at or before their initial sentencing hearing, the State has …

DNA Testing: Important Enough for Extended Jurisdiction and Too Important to Wait for Final Sentencing

Author: Kat Girod, Staff Editor State v. Thurber, No. 122,739, (Kan. Aug. 13, 2021). Issue: Does Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-2512 extend a district court’s jurisdiction to consider a petition for DNA testing after the case has been …

A Wrongful 226-Day Confinement and No Relief: The Impact of Distinguishing Juvenile Adjudications and Criminal Convictions

In re M.M., No. 121,936 (Kan. Mar. 12, 2021). Author: Chloe Ketchmark, Staff Editor Issue: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-5004 provides relief for wrongfully convicted and imprisoned persons.  A magistrate judge wrongfully adjudicated and sentenced claimant M.M. to …

Kansas Offender Registration Act: Substantial Compliance Is Not a Defense

State v. Stoll, No. 117,081 (Kan. 2021) Author: Parker Bednasek, Staff Editor Issue: Under the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA), drug offenders are required to register new addresses within three days of moving.  For seven years, Stoll registered …

No Retroactive Application: Probation Revocation and the 2019 Amendments

Author: Parker Bednasek, Staff Editor State v. Dominguez, No. 121,618, (Kan. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2020) Issue: Prior to 2019, Kan. Stat. Ann. § 22-3716 (c)(1)(A)–(D)[1] required a court to impose both a jail sanction and a prison …

Conflict or Cooperation? Mandatory Consecutive Sentencing Statutes Declared Harmonious

Author: Besty Donahue, Staff Editor State v. Vaughn, No. 121,340 (Kan. Ct. App., Aug. 14, 2020). Issue: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6606(d)[1] mandates that individuals convicted of felonies while on bond release for a prior felony shall serve …

“Knife” Definition Declared Unconstitutionally Vague

Author: Emily Otte, Executive Comments Editor State v. Harris, No. 116,515, (Kan. July 17, 2020) Issue:  In Kansas, it is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a knife.  A knife is defined in Kan. Stat. Ann. 2019 …

Kansas Law Review blog

Where Mental Culpability Not Required, Voluntariness Still Relevant to the Actus Reus Requirement

Author: Shelby Sternberg, Comments Editor State v. Dinkel, No. 113,705 (Kan., June 12, 2020) Issue:  K.S.A. 21-5503(a)(3) has no requirement for mental culpability for rape when it involves sexual intercourse with a child under 14, which is unique …