Sunday, November 17, 2013

State v. Spain case brief

State v. Spain case brief summary
590 N.W.2d 85 (1999)

CASE SYNOPSIS
The court granted appellant's petition for review for the limited purpose of reviewing the sentencing departure used by the trial court and affirmed by the court of appeals (Minnesota).

CASE FACTS
A jury convicted appellant of first-degree arson. The trial court sentenced appellant to 144 months, which constituted a triple durational departure from the presumptive sentence of 48 months set forth in the state's sentencing guidelines.

DISCUSSION

  • The appeals court of appeals affirmed. 
  • The court granted appellant's petition for review for the limited purpose of reviewing the sentencing departure.
  • The court held that the aggravating circumstances present in the case, while serious, did not justify a greater-than-double durational departure from the presumptive sentence. 
  • The court therefore reduced appellant's sentence to 96 months.

CONCLUSION
The court modified appellant's sentence to 96 months for first-degree arson and affirmed as modified because the trial court's sentence of 144 months was disproportional to the severity of appellant's conduct.


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