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State v. Collier

Supreme Court of Kansas

June 2, 2017

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Jeffrey Collier, Appellant.

         SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

         1. An appellate court reviews a district court's summary denial of a motion to correct an illegal sentence under K.S.A. 22-3504(1) de novo because the reviewing court has the same access to the motions, records, and files. The reviewing court, like the district court, must determine whether the documents conclusively show the defendant is not entitled to relief.

         2. Whether a sentence is illegal is a question of law over which an appellate court has unlimited review. An illegal sentence under K.S.A. 22-3504(1) is one: (a) imposed by a court without jurisdiction; (b) that does not conform to the statutory provisions, either in the character or the term of the punishment authorized; or (c) that is ambiguous with respect to the time and manner in which it is to be served.

         3. Whether a prior conviction should be classified as a person or nonperson offense involves the interpretation of the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act (KSGA), which presents a question of law over which appellate courts have unlimited review.

         4. Under the KSGA, the legislature intended for all prior convictions and juvenile adjudications, including those convictions and adjudications occurring before KSGA implementation, to be considered and scored for purposes of determining an offender's criminal history score.

         5. A pre-KSGA conviction and/or adjudication must be classified as either a person or nonperson offense by comparing the criminal statute under which the prior offense arose to the comparable post-KSGA criminal statute. The comparable post-KSGA Kansas criminal statute is the one in effect at the time the current crime of conviction was committed.

         6. The legislature has the power to affix punishments by designating prior offenses as person or nonperson offenses for the purposes of calculating the sentence for a current crime of conviction under the KSGA. The exercise of this legislative authority does not implicate the constitutional protections described in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435 (2000).

         Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; John J. Kisner, Jr., judge. Opinion filed June 2, 2017. Affirmed.

          Carl F.A. Maughan, of Maughan Law Group LC, of Wichita, and Sean M.A. Hatfield, of the same firm, were on the brief for appellant.

          Matt J. Maloney, assistant district attorney, Marc Bennett, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.

          OPINION

          Biles, J.

         Jeffrey Scott Collier was convicted of a 1993 aggravated robbery and sentenced under the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act (KSGA), K.S.A. 1993 Supp. 21-4701 et seq. In calculating Collier's criminal history score, the sentencing court classified as person felonies three "residential burglary" offenses that Collier committed in the late 1980s. In 2014, Collier moved to correct his sentence, arguing the offenses were misclassified. The district court summarily denied relief. We reject each assertion of error and affirm.

         We hold: (1) Collier is not entitled to have the offenses classified as nonperson offenses under State v. Murdock, 299 Kan. 312, 319, 323 P.3d 846 (2014) (regarding person/nonperson classification of prior out-of-state offenses for purposes of calculating criminal history score), overruled by State v. Keel, 302 Kan. 560, 357 P.3d 251 (2015), cert. denied136 S.Ct. 865 (2016); (2) he is not entitled to have the offenses classified as nonperson offenses under State v. Dickey, 301 Kan. 1018, 1039-40, 350 P.3d 1054 (2015) (Dickey I) (pre-KSGA convictions and juvenile adjudications of burglary defined in K.S.A. 21-3715 must be classified as nonperson felonies); (3) the KSGA's person/nonperson classification of pre-KSGA offenses does not violate the Sixth ...


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