Category: Statutory Interpretation

Correcting Clear Error: Kansas Supreme Court Says That Unpreserved Jury-Instruction Issues Can No Longer Dodge the Plain Text of K.S.A. § 22-3414(3)

State v. Waldschmidt, No. 123,631 (Kan. Apr. 12, 2024). Author: Naomi Franklin, Staff Editor Issue: Can an unpreserved jury-instruction issue that is not clearly erroneous dodge Kan. Stat. Ann. § 22-3414(3) and become part of cumulative-error analysis? Answer: No. …

RICO, We Have a Problem: Kansas Court of Appeals Finds That Juvenile Adjudications Are Included in the Definition of “Racketeering Activity” Under the Kansas RICO Act.

State v. Dixon, No. 125,992 WL 1335680 (Kan. Mar. 29, 2024). Author: Claire Burns, Staff Editor Issue: Under the Kansas Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“Kansas RICO Act”), does the definition of “racketeering activity” include juvenile adjudications? …

Resolving Ambiguity: Kansas Supreme Court Says “Lesser Crime” in Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5109(b)(2) Means “a Crime with a Lesser Penalty”

State v. Martin, No. 124,607, 2024 WL 1122666 (Kan. Mar. 15, 2024). Author: Jack Atherton, Staff Editor Issue:  Is possession of methamphetamine a “lesser included crime” of no drug-tax stamp under Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5109(b)(2)? Answer:  No.  …

(Unallocated) Space, the Final Frontier: New Interpretations of What Constitutes Possession of Child Pornography

State v. Ballantyne, No. 125,064, 2024 WL 388161 (Kan. Ct. App. Feb. 2, 2024). Author: Jay Shank, Staff Editor Issue: Does child pornography stored within a computer’s unallocated space constitute possession of child pornography? Answer: No. Because computers …

Beyond Age Limits: Parental Discipline as a Defense for Parents of Majority Aged Children

State v. Andazola, No. 125,166, 2023 WL 7405069 (Kan. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2023). Jack Atherton, Staff Editor Issue: Is the parental-discipline defense to a domestic-battery charge available when the child is 18 years old, living at home, …

The Clock Starts Now: Kansas Supreme Court Rules Defendants are Now Entitled to Jail Time Credit for All Time They Spend Incarcerated While Their Cases are Pending Disposition.

State v. Hopkins, No. 124,851, 2023 WL 6933634 (Kan. Oct. 20, 2023). Clayton Anderson, Staff Editor Issue:  Is an award of jail-time credit limited to the time a defendant spends in custody “solely” on the charge that is …

$5,000 or $15,000? The Application of JVTA Assessment Fines on a Per-Count Basis

Rachel Vande Kieft, Staff Edtior
The Tenth Circuit interprets the JVTA to apply on a per-count basis.

Para, Para, Para, Para, Paraphernalia: Single or Plural under Kansas Law?

Brooke Flucke, Staff Editor
Kansas Supreme Court interprets “drug paraphernalia” in K.S.A. § 21-5709(b) as plural so that there can only be a single unit of prosecution based on defendant’s intent for possession.

You’re either in or you’re out! K.S.A. § 60-455(g) is an Exhaustive List and Limits Propensity Evidence

Hailey Reed, Staff Editor
The Kansas Court of Appeals held K.S.A. § 60-455(g)’s definition of “act or offense of sexual misconduct” is exhaustive.  Therefore evidence of prior acts or offenses of sexual misconduct must meet this definition to be admissible under subsection (d).

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 …