for Review from the Superior Court No. 3AN-11-7467 CR, Third
Judicial District, Anchorage, Paul E. Olson, Judge.
Michael T. Schwaiger, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan
Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Petitioner.
Jenna L. Gruenstein, Assistant District Attorney, Anchorage,
and James E. Cantor, Acting Attorney General, Juneau, for the
Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, and Allard, Judge.
Tristan Jamall Grant was on probation for fourth-degree
controlled substance misconduct in this case, he committed a
new crime - a federal offense - and Grant's state
probation officer filed a petition to revoke his probation.
that probation revocation petition was pending, the federal
court sentenced Grant to serve 6 months' imprisonment for
the new federal crime. Several weeks later, the superior
court revoked Grant's probation in this case and
sentenced him to serve 2 months of his previously suspended
superior court initially made this 2-month probation
revocation sentence concurrent with Grant's federal
sentence. But the superior court later concluded that, under
Alaska sentencing law, these two sentences had to run
consecutively. The court therefore amended Grant's
judgement to make the 2-month probation revocation sentence
consecutive to Grant's federal sentence.
now petitions this Court to reverse the superior court's
decision - to order the superior court to again make the
2-month probation revocation sentence concurrent with
Grant's federal sentence. Grant argues that the superior
court violated his rights under the double jeopardy clause
when the court amended Grant's probation revocation
sentence to make it consecutive to his federal sentence.
grant the petition for review - and, for the reasons
explained here, we affirm the superior court's decision.
superior court's interpretation of AS 12.55.127(a) was
once a criminal sentence is meaningfully imposed, any
increase in that sentence will violate the double jeopardy
clause.  But a sentence is not "meaningfully
imposed" for these purposes if the sentence is illegal.
Thus, if a sentence is illegally lenient, the sentencing
court may adjust it upward - although only to the extent
necessary to cure the illegality. 
Grant's case, the superior court concluded that, under
Alaska law, Grant's 2-month probation revocation sentence
had to be consecutive to the sentence Grant received for his
new federal crime. Thus, the court concluded, it had acted
illegally when it made the probation revocation sentence
concurrent with Grant's federal sentence.
superior court based its ruling on subsection (a) of AS
12.55.127, the statute that governs consecutive sentencing.
Subsection (a) declares:
If a defendant is required to serve a term of imprisonment
under a separate judgment, [then any] term of imprisonment
imposed in a later judgment, amended judgment, or ...