State v. CheeksAnnotate this Case
In 1993, Defendant was convicted of the second-degree murder of his wife. Defendant received a sentence of fifteen years to life imprisonment. In 2009, Defendant filed a pro se petition for postconviction DNA testing under Kan. Stat. Ann. 21-2512. The postconviction court summarily denied the petition because the statute limited the availability of such testing to cases involving convictions of first-degree murder or of rape. The Supreme Court extended section 21-2512 to Defendant and other similarly situated individuals under the authority of the Equal Protection Clause. While his appeal was still pending, Defendant was released from prison and placed on parole. When the district court took up his DNA testing petition on remand, the judge denied it, ruling that the legislature did not intend to allow consideration of section 21-2512 petitions from individuals on conditional release. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because Defendant was in prison at the time his section 21-2512 petition for DNA testing was filed, he was “in state custody” at the relevant time. Remanded.