The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decision today:
Appeal No. 116,564: State of Kansas v. Elton D. Donahue
Summary calendar; no oral argumentThe Supreme Court rejected Donahue's attempt to have his life sentence declared illegal. A Sedgwick County jury found Donahue guilty of two counts of aggravated kidnapping for events that occurred in 1973, when Donahue was 16 years old. The district court sentenced him to life imprisonment with a mandatory 15-year term before being eligible for parole for the aggravated kidnapping counts. In 2016, Donahue claimed the sentence was cruel and unusual punishment due to his young age. In a unanimous decision, the court noted it has repeatedly rejected other cases trying to raise constitutional challenges under a state statute that limits challenges to sentences to arguments over jurisdiction, vagueness, or the failure to follow applicable statutes.