Mullikan v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Appellant Jason Lee Mullikan was convicted of several crimes, including wanton endangerment for chasing two men with a Samurai sword. Mullikan raised nine grounds on appeal, and the Supreme Court only found one had merit, the issue of whether testimony in the penalty phase describing facts and circumstances underlying Mullikan's prior convictions was unduly prejudicial and merited a new penalty phase. After acknowledging that it had previously failed to provide a discernable and workable rule of law to follow when introducing evidence of prior crimes at the sentencing stage, the Supreme Court held that the evidence of prior convictions allowable under Kan. Rev. Stat. 532.055(a) is limited to conveying to the jury the elements of the crimes previously committed. Therefore, the Court held that the evidence in this case at the penalty phase was unduly prejudicial because it was not only inadmissible hearsay, but went beyond the statutory language of Ky. Rev. Stat. 532.055(2)(a). The Court affirmed the convictions but remanded for a sentencing trial consistent with this opinion.