Whether a sentence is illegal under K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 22-3504
is a question of law over which an appellate court has
Generally, a sentence is effective when pronounced from the
bench. A district court usually lacks jurisdiction to modify
a legal sentence once that sentence is pronounced from the
bench. But a court may correct an illegal sentence at any
sentence is illegal when it (1) is imposed by a court without
jurisdiction; (2) does not conform to the applicable
statutory provision, either in character or punishment; or
(3) is ambiguous with respect to the time and manner in which
it is to be served.
There is one instance in which the court is authorized by
statute to modify a legal sentence. Under K.S.A. 2017 Supp.
22-3716(b)(3)(B)(iii), upon a finding that a defendant has
violated the terms of his or her probation, the district
court may require the defendant to serve the sentence
imposed, or any lesser sentence.
K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 22-3716(b)(3)(B)(iii) authorizes the
district court to impose any lesser sentence upon revoking a
defendant's probation, including a sentence with no
postrelease supervision term. Whether the district court
mistakenly imposes no postrelease supervision term upon
revoking a defendant's probation and ordering a modified
sentence is not relevant because the Kansas Supreme Court has
held that a sentence is effective when pronounced from the
bench regardless of the court's intent at the time the
sentence is pronounced.
After revoking a criminal defendant's probation, a
district judge may choose to sentence anew, even if some
component of the original sentence was illegal because it
failed to match a mandatory statutory minimum. In the
alternative, a judge may simply require the defendant to
serve the original sentence. If a new sentence is pronounced
from the bench after probation revocation, any original
illegality no longer exists, and the new sentence is not
subject to challenge or correction under K.S.A. 2017 Supp.
22-3504. If the judge instead requires the defendant to serve
the original sentence, any original illegality continues to
exist and is subject to challenge or correction under K.S.A.
2017 Supp. 22-3504.
Under K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 21-6804(e)(2)(C), when the district
court imposes an original sentence under the revised Kansas
Sentencing Guidelines Act and fails to pronounce the period
of postrelease supervision from the bench, this failure does
not negate the existence of the postrelease supervision term
because it is required by law as part of the defendant's
K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 21-6804(e)(2)(C) does not apply to a
sentence that is lawfully modified at a probation revocation
hearing under K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 22-3716(b) because a
postrelease supervision term is not required by law as part
of the sentence when the district court sentences a defendant
anew after revoking his or her probation.
from Reno District Court; Joseph L. McCarville III, judge.
Clayton J. Perkins, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, for
R. Stanton, deputy district attorney, Keith E. Schroeder,
district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for
Standridge, P.J., Malone, J., and Stutzman, S.J.
L. Jones appeals the denial of her motion to correct an
illegal sentence of postrelease supervision. Jones claims
that the district court did not sentence her to a term of
postrelease supervision when it revoked her probation and
ordered her to serve a modified prison sentence. She argues
that the district court's silence on the term of
postrelease supervision constituted a lawful modification of
her sentence under K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 22-3716(b). We agree