State v. Kasic, 110719 AZAPP2, 2 CA-CR 2019-0143-PR
|Docket Nº:||2 CA-CR 2019-0143-PR|
|Opinion Judge:||EPPICH, Presiding Judge.|
|Party Name:||The State of Arizona, Respondent, v. Mark Noriki Kasic Jr., Petitioner.|
|Attorney:||Arizona Capital Representation Project, Tucson By Amy Armstrong and Sam Kooistra Counsel for Petitioner|
|Judge Panel:||Presiding Judge Eppich authored the decision of the Court, in which Judge Espinosa concurred, and Judge Eckerstrom dissented. ECKERSTROM, Judge, dissenting:|
|Case Date:||November 07, 2019|
|Court:||Court of Appeals of Arizona|
Petition for Review from the Superior Court in Pima County No. CR20084770 The Honorable Kathleen Quigley, Judge.
Arizona Capital Representation Project, Tucson By Amy Armstrong and Sam Kooistra Counsel for Petitioner
Presiding Judge Eppich authored the decision of the Court, in which Judge Espinosa concurred, and Judge Eckerstrom dissented.
EPPICH, Presiding Judge.
¶1 Mark Kasic seeks review of the trial court's order summarily dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief filed pursuant to Rule 32, Ariz. R. Crim. P. He argues, as he did below, that his consecutive sentences violate the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. We grant review but deny relief.
¶2 After a jury trial, Kasic was convicted of thirty-two felonies arising from a series of arsons spanning a one-year period, some committed while he was under the age of eighteen. State v. Kasic, 228 Ariz. 228, ¶ 1 (App. 2011). His combination of concurrent and consecutive prison terms totaled nearly 140 years. Id. On appeal, we affirmed his convictions except for two, which we modified to misdemeanors, and rejected his argument that his consecutive sentences violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. We remanded for resentencing on the modified convictions. Id. ¶¶ 1, 32. The aggregate of his prison terms after resentencing remained unchanged. Kasic sought and was denied post-conviction relief, and this court denied relief on review. State v. Kasic, No. 2 CA-CR 2013-0307-PR (Ariz. App. Dec. 23, 2013) (mem. decision).
¶3 In 2017, Kasic again sought post-conviction relief, arguing that under Montgomery v. Louisiana, ___U.S.___, 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016), Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), and Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010), his consecutive prison terms are unconstitutional because they collectively constitute a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.1 The trial court summarily denied relief. This petition for review followed.
¶4 On review, Kasic repeats his argument that his consecutive sentences violate the Eighth Amendment under Montgomery, Miller, and Graham. In Graham, the United States Supreme Court decided that "[t]he Constitution prohibits the imposition of a life without parole sentence on a juvenile offender who did not commit homicide." 560 U.S. at 82. In Miller and Montgomery, the Court determined that a sentence of life without parole imposed on a juvenile convicted of a homicide offense violates the Eighth Amendment unless the juvenile's crimes "reflect irreparable corruption" rather than "transient immaturity." State v. Valencia, 241 Ariz. 206, ¶¶ 14, 18 (2016) (quoting Montgomery, 136 S.Ct. at 734, 735).
¶5 Kasic asserts that Arizona law regarding the application of Graham, Miller, and Montgomery to consecutive sentences is "unresolved." It is not. In Kasic's appeal, we determined Graham did not entitle him to relief because the Court in Graham had not addressed consecutive sentences for multiple crimes, and "we do not consider the imposition of consecutive sentences in [a] proportionality inquiry" under the Eighth Amendment. Kasic, 228 Ariz. 228, ¶¶ 23-24. And, as the trial court observed, we resolved in State v. Helm, 245 Ariz. 560...
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