Bishop v. Anchorage

In Bishop v. Anchorage, 685 P.2d 103 (Alaska App. 1984) the Court recognized that the term "illegal sentence" is narrowly construed to apply only to sentences "the judgment of conviction did not authorize." Id. at 105. The Court found that, to constitute an illegal sentence for the purposes of Rule 35(a), "the sentence itself must be illegal, not the manner in which it was imposed." Id. at 105 n.3 The Court held that Criminal Rule 35(a) employs the term "illegal sentence" in a narrow sense; the term refers only to sentences that "the judgment of conviction did not authorize." The Court offered three examples of illegal sentences: (1) "a sentence that is contrary to the applicable statute"; (2) "a written judgment not conforming to the oral pronouncement of sentence"; and (3) "a sentence that is ambiguous with respect to the time and manner in which it is to be served."