Kansas Supreme Court Decisions, July 15, 2022

15 Jul 2022 10:21 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

Appeal No. 124,047: State of Kansas v. Jeffrey Scott Collier

Summary calendar; no oral argument

The Supreme Court affirmed Collier's hard-15 life sentence with lifetime parole for his first-degree murder conviction and a consecutive 97-month prison term for an aggravated robbery conviction. In a majority opinion written by Justice Dan Biles, the Court rejected Collier's claim that the applicable law required 24 months of postrelease supervision instead of lifetime parole, because the aggravated robbery should have been designated as the primary crime for sentencing purposes. In so doing, the Court interpreted the controlling statute, K.S.A. 1993 Supp. 21-4720(b), and determined that under subsection (b)(1), Collier's primary crime is first-degree murder, and under subsection (b)(2), his first-degree murder conviction can be used when deciding the postrelease supervision term—but not the base sentence. The Court concluded the Sedgwick County District Court correctly sentenced Collier under the language of K.S.A. 1993 Supp. 21-4720(b).

Justice Rosen dissented by interpreting the controlling statute differently from the majority. He claims Collier's murder conviction cannot be used for deciding the postrelease supervision term, and therefore the robbery conviction should have been used for that purpose


Case No. 124,958: In the Matter of David S. Whinery

Case No. 124,958 archived oral argument

The Supreme Court, per curiam, found that Whinery violated Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2, 1.3, 8.4(d), and 8.4(g). The Court found Whinery failed to appropriately define the scope of his representation and failed to diligently give notice to appropriate parties that he had been granted power of attorney for one of his clients, revoking the previous power of attorney arrangement with a third party. A majority of the Court also held that Whinery's use of profanity and physical aggression against his client while in the jury box constituted conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and adversely reflected on the lawyer's fitness to practice law. The Court accepted the summary submission agreement under Rule 223 and imposed a one-year suspension from the practice of law, though the Court stayed that suspension and placed Whinery on probation for 18 months.

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