Decision: State v. Boyer

June 19th. The Kansas Supreme Court has issued its decision in State v. Boyer (No. 98,763), a sentencing appeal. In a unanimous opinion, written by Justice Eric Rosen, the Court held that juvenile adjudications do not count for the purposes of determining whether a criminal is classified as a persistent sex offender. As a result it vacated the sentence imposed on James Boyer and remanded for a new sentencing hearing.

Boyer committed sexually violent crimes, both as a juvenile and as an adult. Neither the Kansas Supreme Court nor the Kansas Court of Appeals’ deigns to tell us what the old offense was or what his newer, adult offense was. The District Court certified Boyer as a persistent sex offender since he had now committed two separate crimes, and thus his sentence was doubled from the presumed 55-month sentence to 110-months.

Boyer appealed, and the Court of Appeals agreed that juvenile adjudications did not count for the purposes of the persistent sex offender statute. Supporting this conclusion the Court of Appeals noted that the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines do include some juvenile adjudications in calculating criminal history scores and not others, while the persistent sex offender statute makes no mention of them. The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals decision, agreeing with this and noting that the Legislature has made a distinction between the way juvenile adjudications and criminal convictions are handled, and that if it wanted juvenile adjudications to count for this statute it could say so.

Therefore Boyer’s sentence was vacated and he will be resentenced without the persistent sex offender classification.


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