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State v. Raatz

Supreme Court of Nebraska

September 23, 2016

State of Nebraska, appellee,
v.
Corey J. Raatz, appellant.

         1. Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory interpretation presents a question of law, which an appellate court reviews independently of the lower court's determination.

         2. Sentences: Appeal and Error. An appellate court will not disturb a sentence imposed within the statutory limits absent an abuse of discretion by the trial court.

         3. Criminal Law: Statutes: Legislature. When the Legislature amends a criminal statute by mitigating the punishment after the commission of a prohibited act but before final judgment, the punishment is that provided by the amendatory act unless the Legislature specifically provided otherwise.

         4. Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory language is to be given its plain and ordinary meaning, and an appellate court will not resort to interpretation to ascertain the meaning of statutory words which are plain, direct, and unambiguous.

         5. Statutes. It is not within the province of a court to read a meaning into a statute that is not warranted by the language; neither is it within the province of a court to read anything plain, direct, or unambiguous out of a statute.

         6. Statutes: Legislature: Appeal and Error. In reading a statute, a court must determine and give effect to the purpose and intent of the Legislature as ascertained from the entire language of the statute considered in its plain, ordinary, and popular sense.

         7. Statutes: Legislature: Intent. Components of a series or collection of statutes pertaining to a certain subject matter are in pari materia and should be conjunctively considered and construed to determine the intent of the Legislature, so that different provisions are consistent, harmonious, and sensible.

         [294 Neb. 853] 8. Criminal Law: Statutes: Legislature: Intent: Time. The Legislature did not intend penalty reductions made in 2015 to Class IV felonies to apply retroactively to offenses committed prior to August 30, 2015.

         9. Sentences. In imposing a sentence, the sentencing court is not limited to any mathematically applied set of factors.

         10.___ . The appropriateness of a sentence is necessarily a subjective judgment and includes the sentencing judge's observation of the defendant's demeanor and attitude and all the facts surrounding the defendant's life.

         Appeal from the District Court for Madison County: James G. Kube, Judge.

          Chelsey R. Hartner, Chief Deputy Madison County Public Defender, for appellant.

          Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Nathan A. Liss for appellee.

          Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, ...


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