Austin v. State

In Austin v. State, 627 P.2d 657 (Alaska App. 1981) the Court attempted to carry out the legislature's express goal of having more uniformity in sentencing by extending the logic of presumptive sentencing to a first-felony offender convicted of a class C felony. Because Austin was a first-felony offender, to whom presumptive sentencing did not apply, the sentencing judge was legally authorized to sentence him up to the 5-year maximum sentence without finding any aggravating factors. In Austin, the Court concluded that, since a second felony offender would face a presumptive sentence of 2 years of imprisonment, it would be illogical for the sentencing judge to sentence a first-felony offender to more than the presumptive term for a second-felony offender unless the sentencing judge found that the case was exceptional. (Id. at 658.)