BY THE COURT
Interpretation of a statute under the revised Kansas
Sentencing Guidelines Act is a question of law, and an
appellate court's scope of review is unlimited.
departure sentence is subject to appeal by the defendant or
the State under the plain language of K.S.A. 2016 Supp.
21-6820(a), unless a more specific provision divests the
court of jurisdiction.
K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-6820(c)(2) provides that an appellate
court shall not review any sentence resulting from an
agreement between the State and the defendant which the
sentencing court approves on the record.
K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-6820(c)(2) is a more specific provision
than K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-6820(a) that divests an appellate
court of jurisdiction to review a departure sentence if
warranted by the facts of the case.
from Saline District Court; Rene S. Young, judge.
for summary disposition pursuant to K.S.A. 2016 Supp.
21-6820(g) and (h).
Malone, P.J., Leben and Powell, JJ.
Harold Cooper appeals his sentence following his convictions
of two counts of possession of a controlled substance and
other crimes. We granted Cooper's motion for summary
disposition in lieu of briefs pursuant to Supreme Court Rule
7.041A (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 48). The State has filed a
response and agrees that summary disposition is appropriate.
February 16, 2016, Cooper pled no contest to two counts of
possession of a controlled substance, each a severity level 5
drug felony; one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a
class A nonperson misdemeanor; one count of interference with
law enforcement, a class A nonperson misdemeanor; and one
count of improper lane change, a traffic infraction. Pursuant
to the plea agreement, the State agreed to recommend that
Cooper receive concurrent sentences and probation from the
presumptive sentence of imprisonment. Cooper subsequently
filed a motion for departure claiming that a departure
sentence was warranted for numerous reasons including the
fact that Cooper accepted responsibility for the crimes, the
State was recommending probation, and a nonprison sentence
would promote offender reformation and reduce the risk of
sentencing hearing on April 29, 2016, the district court
followed the plea agreement and imposed concurrent sentences
resulting in a controlling term of 20 months'
imprisonment, and the district court granted Cooper's
motion for a dispositional departure to probation for 12
months for the reasons stated in the motion. Cooper's
court-appointed attorney filed a notice of appeal from that
appeal, Cooper claims "the district court erred in
sentencing him." Cooper does not specify how the
district court erred in sentencing him, and he makes no claim
that he received an illegal sentence. Moreover, Cooper
acknowledges that pursuant to K.S.A. 2016 Supp.
21-6820(c)(2), an appellate court shall not review any
sentence resulting from an agreement between the State and
the defendant which the sentencing court approves on the
record. In response, the State asserts that Cooper's
presumptive sentence cannot be challenged on direct appeal.
of Cooper's appeal requires an analysis of the revised
Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act, K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-6801
et seq. Interpretation of a sentencing statute is a
question of law, and our scope of review is ...