On June 26, 2020, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Attorney Michael Duma’s client, reversing the Court of Appeals’ decision. The ruling dramatically expands the appellate rights of juveniles who are subject to the state’s Extended Jurisdiction Juvenile (EJJ) proceedings and sentences.
The client was charged with three felony offenses at the age of 14. As part of the plea agreement, he pled no contest to the charges and agreed to have an extended-jurisdiction juvenile prosecution, which enabled the district court to enter both a juvenile sentence (that is capped at age 23) and an adult sentence.
The client agreed to a longer juvenile sentence than the standard term, which was a 72-month term in a juvenile-detention facility, followed by 24 months of conditional release. He was also sentenced to 237 (almost 20 years) imprisonment. However, compliance with all terms and conditions of the juvenile sentence with no new charges brought was supposed to result in a stay of the adult sentence.
When the client started to serve his 24-month conditional-release period when he was 18, after completing the 72-month juvenile-detention sentence, he signed several contracts that stated failure to comply with all terms of conditional release could lead to house arrest, community service, an extension of conditional release, or go back to a juvenile-detention facility – not impose the client’s adult sentence.
After nearly a year into the client’s conditional release, the district court found that John had violated the terms of his release and imposed the adult sentence. When the client appealed the lower court’s decision to the Court of Appeals and raised several valid claims, the State argued that no appeals court had jurisdiction over an appeal of the order imposing the adult sentence.
When Attorney Duma brought the case to the Kansas Supreme Court, he argued – according to the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure – “who is the subject of an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution shall have the right to a trial by jury, to the effective assistance of counsel and to all other rights of [an adult] defendant.” The state’s highest court ultimately sided with the client because the law states that all adult defendants’ rights include the right to appeal an adverse judgment.
At The Duma Law Offices, our legal team has more than 40 years of combined experience handling the most complex cases in Kansas and Missouri. Attorney Michael Duma is a former prosecutor who has litigated many criminal matters in both Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Supreme Court.
If you or a loved one is facing serious criminal charged in Olathe or within Johnson County, contact our firm today at (913) 225-8555 for a free 30-minute consultation.