Saturday, April 29, 2006

Indigent means I can't pay for a lawyer.

A lot of new cases from the KSC this last week--some good, some pretty bad. Anyway, lets start with a BIDS fee case. Shawn Minihan won in State v. Robinson, No. 91,875 (Kan. April 28, 2006), obtaining a remand for explicit determination of a defendant’s ability to pay and the financial burden payment of the BIDS feewould impose in a Saline County case. The COA has split widely on this issue and the KSC granted review to resolve the conflict. The KSC reviewed K.S.A. 22-4513, the recoupment statute, and held that its terms are mandatory and that consideration of the ability to pay and the financial burden must be made at the time of sentencing. The KSC noted that prior versions of the recoupment statute had been held unconstitutional, that the current version of the statute resulted, and that a mandatory consideration of ability to pay and the financial burden at the time of imposition of BIDS fees was consistent with the legislative intent to bring Kansas in line with other states that require consideration of ability to pay and the financial burden. The KSC did note that, because the assessment is not punitive, it is not part of the sentence, and failure to make the findings does make the sentence "illegal."

And don't forget Mark Dinkel's additional arguments previously discussed here.

I’m not sure what impact this will have on the world. I suppose it could be a hassle for trial practitioners/judges in some cases. I would think that most defendants who are paying now (mostly defendants granted probation) can still be found able to pay and still will pay. What does anyone else think about this case? Can it apply in other areas? (i.e. restitution, KBI fees, etc.)

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