State v. Jackson, 123,399

CourtCourt of Appeals of Kansas
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
PartiesState of Kansas, Appellee, v. Juan Kalik Jackson, Appellant.
Docket Number123,399
Decision Date16 September 2022

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.

Juan Kalik Jackson, Appellant.

No. 123,399

Court of Appeals of Kansas

September 16, 2022


NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION

Appeal from Cowley District Court; CHRISTOPHER SMITH, judge.

Michelle A. Davis, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, for appellant.

Ian T. Otte, deputy county attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for appellee.

Before GARDNER, P.J., MALONE and CLINE, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

PER CURIAM

Juan Kalik Jackson appeals his sentence following his conviction of one count of distribution of marijuana, a severity level 2 drug felony. Jackson's only claim on appeal is that the district court erred in calculating his good time credit. We disagree with Jackson's claim and affirm the district court's judgment.

FACTS

In January 2020, Jackson pled guilty to one count of distribution of marijuana in violation of K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-5705(a)(4), a severity level 2 drug felony. Under the

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plea agreement, the State agreed to recommend a downward departure for the court to sentence Jackson as though he were convicted of a level 3 drug felony, rather than a level 2. Before sentencing, Jackson filed a motion for durational departure. The motion acknowledged that Jackson had pled guilty to a level 2 drug felony.

At sentencing, the district court found that Jackson had a C criminal history score with a presumptive sentence of 130-123-117 months' imprisonment. After hearing brief remarks from both parties, the district court granted Jackson's motion for durational departure. The district court sentenced Jackson to 72 months' imprisonment, the highest number in the 3-C grid block. The district court ordered 36 months' postrelease supervision and found that Jackson was eligible to receive up to 15% good time credit. Jackson questioned whether the good time credit should be 20%, which is the statutory percentage for a level 3 drug felony. Noting that Jackson was convicted of a level 2 drug felony, the district court responded that his good time credit would be 15%. Jackson timely appealed his sentence.

ANALYSIS

On appeal, Jackson claims the district court erred in calculating his good time credit. He argues that he should have been eligible to receive good time credit for 20% of his prison sentence instead of 15% because the district court granted his motion for durational departure. Jackson asserts that if there is any confusion on what the amount of his good time credit should be, then he should receive the more favorable sentence under the rule of lenity. The State argues that the district court properly calculated the good time credit at 15% because Jackson was convicted of a level 2 drug felony.

Departure sentences are subject to appeal. See K.S.A. 2021 Supp. 21-6820(a). To resolve the issue, this court must engage in statutory interpretation, which presents a

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question of law over which this court has unlimited review. State v. Stoll, 312 Kan. 726, 736, 480 P.3d 158 (2021).

The sentencing grid for drug crimes is found in K.S.A. 2021 Supp. 21-6805(a). Offenders are placed in a box on the grid based on the intersection of the severity level of the current crime of conviction and the offender's criminal history classification. See K.S.A. 2021 Supp. 21-6803(1). Jackson had a C...

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