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Miller v. State

June 6, 2006

HOWARD WAYNE MILLER, PETITIONER, APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF MINNESOTA, RESPONDENT.



Crow Wing County District Court File No. K8-98-2131.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Minn. Stat. § 609.109, subd. 7(a) (1998), does not authorize a district court to impose consecutive conditional release periods.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Minge, Judge

Reversed and remanded

Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Minge, Judge; and Ross, Judge.

OPINION

Appellant challenges his sentence on the ground that Minn. Stat. § 609.109, subd. 7(a) (1998), did not allow the district court to impose consecutive terms of conditional release. Because we conclude that the statute's text and purpose do not support the imposition of consecutive conditional release terms, we reverse and remand for resentencing.

FACTS

Appellant Howard Wayne Miller was charged with two counts of sexual misconduct based on separate incidents against the same victim, and a consolidated jury trial was conducted. Appellant was convicted of one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.342 (1996), and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.343 (1996). The district court sentenced appellant to 480 months on the first-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction and 42 months on the second-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction and ordered that the sentences be served consecutively. Because appellant had previously been convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the district court imposed a ten-year period of conditional release, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 609.109, subd. 7(a) (1998). The district court went on to impose a second consecutive ten-year period of conditional release for the second-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction because it was also an offense eligible for the period under Minn. Stat. § 609.109, subd. 7(a).

This court affirmed appellant's convictions in State v. Miller, No. C9-99-2200 (Minn. App. Oct. 3, 2000). Appellant filed a post-conviction petition in district court seeking a reduction of the sentence for first-degree criminal sexual conduct in light of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348 (2000), and to strike the second consecutive conditional release period. While the district court reduced the sentence for first-degree criminal sexual conduct from 480 to 360 months, it denied appellant's motion to strike the second consecutive term of conditional release.

ISSUE

Are consecutive terms of conditional release authorized by Minn. Stat. § 609.109, subd. 7(a)?

ANALYSIS

A district court may at any time correct a sentence that is not authorized by law. Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 9. If the district court denies a motion under Rule 27.03, subd. 9, we will not reverse that decision if it represents a proper exercise of the district court's discretion and the original sentence was authorized by law. State v. Stutelberg, 435 N.W.2d 632, 633-34 (Minn. App. 1989) (quoting Fritz v. State, 284 N.W.2d 377, 386 (Minn. 1979)). "[I]n the absence of ...


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