Feb 14, 2020 4:54 PM

Kansas Supreme Court issues ruling in Geary County case

Posted Feb 14, 2020 4:54 PM

The Kansas Supreme Court has affirmed the Geary County District Court rejection of Cedric Ywain Peterson's motion to correct an illegal sentence.  Peterson was convicted in the murder of his wife, arguing that his hard-25 life sentence was disproportionate under federal and state constitutional law.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a motion to correct an illegal sentence is an impermissible vehicle for such arguments. 

Peterson pleaded no contest in 2007 to the first-degree murder of his wife, Rachelle. The district court judge sentenced Peterson to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 25 years, which is known as a "hard 25."  

In July 2017 Peterson filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, arguing that his hard 25 was disproportionate under federal and state constitutional bans on cruel and unusual punishment. He also argued that the district judge erred by imposing lifetime postrelease supervision.

The district judge agreed that Peterson should not be subject to lifetime postrelease supervision and issued a nunc pro tune order amending Peterson's journal of entry of sentencing. The district judge rejected Peterson's challenge to the hard 25. Peterson then appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court.