Friday, October 29, 2010

A Richardson win

Randall Hodgkinson won in State v. Gordon, No. 102,386 (Kan. App. Oct. 22, 2010), obtaining a new trial in a Sedgwick County felony fleeing and eluding prosecution. The case was largely controlled by State v. Richardson (blogged about here), which made it clear that when a crime relies on a predicate felony (like felony fleeing and eluding relies on underlying "moving violations"), the district court must instruct the jurors on the elements of the underlying offenses and specify the alleged violations. The COA rejected the state's claim that Richardson could be distinguished:

The State's arguments ignore the essential holding of Richardson: regardless of the sufficiency or specificity of the evidence presented at trial, our appellate courts will not step into the shoes of the jury and convict a defendant of five moving violations of our choice. Here, like in Richardson, Instruction No. 7 did not specify which moving violations Gordon violated.

Similarly, the COA declined the state's invitation to apply harmless error analysis to this situation.

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on November 29, 2010.]

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kansas Defender applies for COA

Here is a Topeka Capital-Journal article stating that 17 Kansas lawyers have applied for the Court of Appeals position that will be created by the Jan. 10 retirement of Chief Judge Gary W. Rulon. As the article states, Randall Hodgkinson (of this blog) is one of the attorneys applying for the position.

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission will meet Nov. 11-12 to interview the candidates and narrow the field to three. Anyone with input on the candidates should contact the commission as soon as possible. Comments can be sent to Anne E. Burke, c/o Carol G. Green, Clerk of the Appellate Courts, 301 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka, Kansas, 66612.
[Update: here is the short list (not including Randall).

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Kansas cases at SCOTUS

Here is a Topeka Captial-Journal article reporting on Kansas cases through history that have been decided at the SCOTUS. It is interesting to look at the cases, both thoses listed and some that are not, that have come from Kansas. I teach my students that every big criminal procedure case was just some regular case at some time. Maybe from Kansas.