Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dispositional departure was a "no brainer"

Janine Cox won in State v. Snyder, No. 112,044 (Kan. App. Nov. 6, 2015)(unpublished), affirming Judge Fleming's downward dispositional departure sentence in a Labette County drug prosecution. Judge Fleming adopted several mitigating factors asserted in Mr. Snyder's departure motion, including appropriate action since charging, no criminal history, family support, and taking responsibility for his actions. The COA held that evidence supported all of these factors, even if contested by the state. The COA did acknowledge that a lack of criminal history, by itself, might to support a departure, but that it could be considered along with other mitigating factors, as was done in this case. Ultimately, the COA affirmed:
Here, the district court found the decision to grant the departure was a "no brainer" because "prison doesn't make people better citizens, generally, and it's punishment for the sake of punishment." The district court considered the factors in light of the purposes of the KSGA—(1) reduce prison overcrowding, (2) protect public safety, and (3) standardize sentences so similarly situated offenders are treated the same in order to reduce the effects of racial or geographic bias. The district court found Snyder was amenable to probation and was not a threat to public safety based on his lack of criminal history, his good behavior while the case was pending, the fact he took responsibility for his actions, and his family support. Taking all of these factors into consideration, we find the district court did not abuse its discretion when it granted Snyder's departure motion.
[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on December 14, 2015.]

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