The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:
Appeal No. 114,894: State of Kansas v. Jose Alberto Gonzalez-Sandoval
Archived oral argument video
Gonzalez-Sandoval was convicted of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. During jury selection, the State used a peremptory strike to remove a potential juror with a Spanish-sounding surname. Gonzalez-Sandoval objected to the strike. The State provided a race-neutral explanation, and the district court allowed the State to strike the juror. During the trial, the State learned its asserted reason was incorrect. It informed the district court and provided an alternative race-neutral grounds to support the strike. Post-conviction, Gonzalez-Sandoval requested a new trial based on this stricken juror. The district court denied his request, finding the State honestly believed the reasons it relied on when it gave them. The Court of Appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court. The Supreme Court held the State's honest but mistaken belief about a facially valid race-neutral reason for striking a minority venire member does not presumptively amount to purposeful discrimination in violation of Gonzalez-Sandoval's constitutional rights.
Appeal No. 112,851: Gian T. Nguyen v. State of KansasSummary calendar; no oral argumentThe Supreme Court held that the district court erred in summarily dismissing Nguyen's third pro se motion under K.S.A. 60-1507. Nguyen claimed multiple errors led to his 2003 convictions for felony murder and other felonies, including conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. The Supreme Court held Nguyen deserved the same relief that his two codefendants received from the Supreme Court when their convictions for conspiracy to commit kidnapping were reversed and remanded for resentencing because the charge was multiplicitous with the crime of conspiracy to commit aggravated battery The Supreme Court held that the district court's findings dismissing the remainder of Nguyen's motion were conclusory in nature, so the Supreme Court remanded for the district court to make findings on the other issues Nguyen presented in his motion.