Friday, February 24, 2012

District court could have considered departure

Ryan Eddigner won in State v. Warren, No. 104,489 (Kan. App. Feb. 17, 2012), obtaining a new sentencing hearing in a Reno County trafficking prosecution.  Although the COA rejected Mr. Warren's speedy trial claim, the COA did reach his claim that the district court erred by holding that it could not grant a downward departure (in this case for a small amount of contraband).  The state argued that, because Mr. Warren received a presumptive sentence, the COA lacked jurisdiction.  The COA disagreed:
We conclude that the rationale of Cisneros is solid and that its holding has not been undercut by the  Huerta decision. In both Huerta and Dillon, the defendants sought appellate review based on a constitutional claim, while in both Cisneros and in Warren's case the defendants seek review only regarding a misinterpretation allegedly made by the district court of its own authority under the sentencing statutes. We therefore have jurisdiction to consider the limited argument made here by Warren—that the district court wrongly interpreted its statutory sentencing authority and therefore refused to consider matters before it that were potentially relevant to the sentence.
The COA also rejected the state's claim on the merits that a small amount of contraband could never be the grounds for a downward departure and, therefore, remanded to the district court for consideration of the departure request.

[Update: the state filed a PR on March 19, 2012.]

[Further update: the KSC granted the state's PR on June 27, 2013.]

[Further update: the KSC affirmed the COA decision on jurisdiction and adopted the COA reasoning as its own on July 12, 2013.  Here is a link to the decision.]

No comments: