Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Parson v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska

September 22, 2017

EDWIN FRANCIS PARSON, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee.

         Appeal from the District Court No. 4FA-13-3054 CR, Fourth Judicial District, Fairbanks, Benjamin Seekins, Judge.

          Olena Kalytiak Davis, Anchorage, for the Appellant.

          Patricia L. Haines, Assistant District Attorney, Fairbanks, and Craig W. Richards, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

          Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Coats, Senior Judge, [*] and Suddock, Superior Court Judge. [**]

          OPINION

          COATS Senior Judge.

         Edwin Francis Parson was convicted of fourth-degree assault[1] for striking and injuring his wife. Parson requested a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS), but he was instead sentenced to 60 days with 60 days suspended. He now appeals the district court's denial of his request for an SIS.

         The State asserts that Parson has no right to appeal the denial of his request for an SIS, and that this Court does not have jurisdiction to hear Parson's appeal, because Parson's active (i.e., unsuspended) term of imprisonment does not exceed 120 days.[2]

         For the reasons explained in this decision, we conclude that we have jurisdiction to hear this appeal. We also conclude that the district court was not clearly mistaken when it denied Parson's request for an SIS. We therefore affirm Parson's sentence.

         This Court has jurisdiction to hear Parson's appeal

         As just explained, Parson was sentenced to 60 days with all 60 suspended. The State argues that under AS 12.55.120(a) and Alaska Appellate Rule 215(a)(1), Parson has no right to appeal his misdemeanor sentence, and this Court has no jurisdiction to resolve his appeal, because Parson was sentenced to less than 120 days to serve. In fact, Parson was not sentenced to serve any time, because all of his imposed jail time was suspended.

         Our jurisdiction to hear misdemeanor sentence appeals is established by AS 22.07.020(c). This statute provides in pertinent part that we have jurisdiction to review "the final decision of the district court on a sentence imposed by it if the sentence exceeds 120 days of unsuspended incarceration for a misdemeanor offense."

         But recently, in Maguire v. State, we reaffirmed the position we earlier had taken in Allen v. Anchorage: we have jurisdiction to review "non-term-of-imprisonment sentence appeals (e.g., appeals challenging probation conditions, fines, forfeitures, and license revocations)" regardless of whether the defendant's active term of imprisonment exceeds 120 days.[3] We conclude that a challenge to a sentencing court's denial of an SIS falls within this same category.

         One important reason why an SIS is a "non-term-of-imprisonment" aspect of a defendant's sentence is that an SIS gives the defendant the opportunity, regardless of the length of the sentence imposed, to have the conviction set aside if the defendant successfully completes their SIS probation.[4] As we have observed, because of this opportunity, an SIS is "a unique disposition."[5] We have also observed that in appeals challenging probation conditions, fines, forfeitures, and license revocations, we are "more likely [than the supreme court] to be familiar with the sentences imposed in criminal cases across the State" and to recognize when a sentencing court has erred with regard to those issues.[6] We are similarly more likely to be able to recognize when a sentencing court has erroneously denied or granted a suspended imposition of sentence.

         We therefore conclude that we have jurisdiction over appeals challenging a sentencing court's decision to deny a request for an SIS, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.