Friday, September 04, 2009

The answer is "Yes!"

The question in the title of my blog post on September 19, 2006 was "Will Layton finally get relief?" The answer according to State v. Layton, No. 98,275 (Kan. June 26, 2009)(unpublished) is yes. Michael Whalen was Mr. Layton's attorney in this latest proceeding.

You can read about the history of this case in the previous blog post here. In the per curiam decision, the KSC note that the history of the case has been "long and arduous, even dramatically tortuous." Suffice it to say that a first COA decision in Mr. Layton's case spawned the identical offense issue that later resulted in, as described by the KSC, the "McAdam gravy train." (According to Wikipedia, "'Gravy train' is an idiomatic expression that is used to refer to any lucrative endeavor, generally with unearned benefits.") In fact, the petitions for review in both Layton and McAdam were filed on the same day and the petitions for review were granted on the same day in July 2003.

After reviewing the case history in Layton (including clarifying my apparently incorrect testimony about the specific issues the ADO raised in the COA in Mr. Layton's case), in conjunction with the time line of other then-pending McAdam cases, the KSC rejected claims that the ADO was ineffective and also rejected Mr. Layton's claim that the higher sentence constituted a "manifest injustice."

Instead, the KSC applied doctrines of equity and fundamental fairness:
were it not for the Court of Appeals' choice of language in its first opinion in Layton's direct appeal, the spark of the identical offense theory may never have ignited. Layton is the only criminal defendant who can make such a claim.
As a result, the KSC remanded for resentencing pursuant to McAdam. I suppose the opinion is unpublished because of the unique circumstances--because Mr. Layton is the only person in this situation, the case really has no precedential value, but only applies to him.

So anyway, according to the Department of Corrections web site, Mr. Layton was placed on post-release on August 3, 2009, a little more than four years after Mr. McAdam was released. So the answer is yes, finally.

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