BY THE COURT
sentence that conforms to the applicable statutory provision
in both character and term of authorized punishment is not
from Cowley District Court; John E. Sanders, judge.
R. Maslen, of Mason, Velasquez & Maslen, P.A., of
Arkansas City, was on the brief for appellant.
Christopher E. Smith, county attorney, and Derek Schmidt,
attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.
Christopher J. Allison appeals the district court judge's
denial of his motion to correct what he argues is his illegal
hard 40 life sentence.
1993, a jury convicted Allison of first-degree premeditated
murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and
terroristic threat. During the sentencing portion of the
trial, the jury found that the evidence established the
aggravating circumstance that Allison had committed the
first-degree murder in order to avoid or prevent a lawful
arrest or prosecution. The jury also found that the
aggravating circumstance outweighed the mitigating
circumstances. Based on the findings, the jury unanimously
determined that a life sentence without the possibility of
parole for 40 years should be imposed by the court. The life
sentence was to be consecutive to a term of 22 to 85 years,
the aggregate sentence for Allison's other jury
convictions and convictions following pleas.
affirmed Allison's convictions and sentence on direct
appeal on January 26, 1996, in State v. Allison, 259
Kan. 25, 910 P.2d 817 (1996). Allison raised four issues:
"(1) the district court erred in instructing the jury
concerning the testimony of a witness who receives benefits
from the State; (2) the State's service of notice of
intent to seek the hard-40 sentence under K.S.A. 1992 Supp.
21-4624(1) was not proper; (3) the district court erred in
admitting as rebuttal, the testimony of the attorney who
represented an accomplice in plea bargain negotiations; and
(4) [Allison] did not receive a fair trial because of
cumulative error." 259 Kan. at 26.
Each of these arguments was rejected. 259 Kan. at 26.
September 2014, Allison filed a pro se motion to correct
illegal sentence. In the motion, he argued the district judge
did not follow the procedures of K.S.A. 1993 Supp. 21-4724(f)
to sentence him for his pre-July 1, 1993 crimes; the
sentences for which he had been on parole at the time of his
convictions in this case were eligible for conversion to the
Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act under K.S.A. 1993 Supp.
21-4724(b)(2); his hard 40 sentence did not conform to the
statutory provisions of K.S.A. 1993 Supp. 21-4624(5); his
hard 40 sentence did not conform to the statutory provisions
of K.S.A. 1993 Supp. 21-4624(2) and (4); and, finally, his
sentence did not conform to the requirements of K.S.A. 1993
November 2014, the district court appointed counsel for
Allison. The next month, after a hearing, Senior Judge John
E. Sanders filed a journal entry stating that the parties had
agreed that there were no evidentiary issues and that
resolution of Allison's motion involved purely legal
questions. Judge Sanders ordered Allison's counsel to
file an amended motion and brief.
January 20, 2015, Allison's counsel filed an amended
motion and accompanying brief. Counsel argued that
Allison's sentence was illegal because the sentencing
verdict form required the jury to either unanimously agree to
impose the hard 40 sentence or ...