The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decision today:
Appeal No. 115,604: State of Kansas v. Marcus G. Butler
In a decision written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Butler's convictions of first-degree felony murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, and attempted aggravated robbery in Wyandotte County District Court.Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today
The Supreme Court held the Kansas conspiracy statute does not lay out alternative means for committing an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy. It also held the district court properly instructed the jury that it had to find Butler committed the conspiracy knowingly rather than intentionally.
The Supreme Court also held: Butler was not entitled to a new trial based on ineffective assistance of trial counsel; the district court committed harmless error by not providing the jury with a limiting instruction regarding Butler's prior drug purchases from a party involved in the case; the prosecutor under these circumstances did not err by referring to Butler's theory of the case as "ridiculous"; and cumulative error did not deprive Butler of a fair trial.
Lastly, the Supreme Court concluded—and the State conceded—the district court erred when it imposed lifetime post-release supervision rather than parole. The Supreme Court affirmed Butler's convictions but vacated and remanded Butler's sentence so the district court can impose lifetime parole.