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State of Kansas v. Kevin Conrad

April 12, 2013

STATE OF KANSAS, APPELLEE,
v.
KEVIN CONRAD, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Reno District Court; JOSEPH L. MCCARVILLE III, judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT Sentencing challenges under § 9 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights are analyzed through application of the three-part test outlined in State v. Freeman, 223 Kan. 362, 367, 574 P.2d 950 (1978), which considers: (1) The nature of the offense and the character of the offender, particularly the degree of danger present to society; relevant to this inquiry are the facts of the crime, the violent or nonviolent nature of the offense, the extent of culpability for the injury resulting, and the penological purposes of the prescribed punishment; (2) a comparison of the punishment with punishments imposed in this jurisdiction for more serious offenses, and if among them are found more serious crimes punished less severely than the offense in question, the challenged penalty is to that extent suspect; and (3) a comparison of the penalty with punishments in other jurisdictions for the same offense.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moritz, J.

Sentence affirmed in part and vacated in part.

The opinion of the court was delivered by MORITZ, J.:

Kevin Conrad appeals his sentence of 25 years to life under Jessica's Law, K.S.A. 21-4643(a)(1)(C). Conrad argues his sentence is unconstitutional because it is cruel or unusual punishment under § 9 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights and is contrary to statute because he should be parole eligible after 20 years.

We conclude Conrad's sentence is constitutional and he must serve 25 years before he is eligible for parole. We do vacate, however, the district court's imposition of lifetime postrelease supervision.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Conrad's convictions arose from his sexual abuse of four children. In return for his plea to three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and one count of lewd and lascivious behavior, the State dismissed six additional counts. The district court sentenced Conrad pursuant to K.S.A. 21-4643(a)(1)(C), imposing a controlling sentence of 25 years to life. This sentence was based on Conrad's conduct with his 11-year-old biological daughter, G.R.C. Between September 2006 and January 2007, Conrad forced vaginal intercourse on G.R.C. several times a month.

The district court imposed concurrent sentences of varying lengths for the three remaining convictions, each involving a different child victim. Between August 2005 and June 2006 about twice a week Conrad forced Z.C.C., his 13-year-old stepson, to touch Conrad's penis or Conrad touched Z.C.C.'s penis without Z.C.C.'s consent. Conrad forced vaginal intercourse on his stepdaughter, J.D.C., a 9- to 10-year-old girl, repeatedly between August 2005 and June 2006, and he forced J.D.C. to touch his penis. Conrad also exposed his penis to M.J.B., a 9-year-old girl.

Conrad timely filed a notice of appeal, and this court has jurisdiction pursuant to K.S.A. 22-3601(b)(1) (permitting direct appeal for convictions of off-grid crimes).

ANALYSIS

Conrad's sentence is not cruel or unusual punishment and does not violate § 9 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights.

Conrad argues his sentence of 25 years to life, prescribed under Jessica's Law, is cruel or unusual under § 9 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights. After briefs were filed in this case, we conducted a case-specific analysis under § 9 in State v. Woodard, 294 Kan. 717, 280 P.3d 203 (2012), and rejected Woodard's argument that his Jessica's Law sentence ...


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