may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Patrick Murphy, petitioner,
State of Minnesota,
Ramsey County District Court
File No. K2931209
John P. Murphy, 1000 Lakeshore Drive, Moose Lake, MN 55767 (pro se appellant)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103-2106; and
Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Michael Richardson, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge, Harten, Judge, and Halbrooks, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant John Patrick Murphy challenges the district court’s denial of his postconviction petition for sentence modification, arguing that his sentence was not authorized by law because it exceeded the 40-year limit for consecutive multiple sentences under Minn. Stat § 609.15, subd. 2 (1990). We affirm.
In April 1994, appellant pleaded guilty to ten counts of terroristic threats and one count of conspiracy to commit terroristic threats. State v. Murphy, 545 N.W.2d 909, 912 (Minn. 1996). Pursuant to a plea agreement, appellant was sentenced to 96 months in prison and 450 months of probation. Id. at 914.
In September 1998, appellant was released on probation. In March 1999, appellant’s probation was revoked, and appellant was sentenced to 24 months in prison. State v. Murphy, No. C0-99-1453 (Minn. App. Mar. 14, 2000), review denied (Minn. May 16, 2000). Appellant’s probation was revoked again in December 2000, and appellant was sentenced to 60 months in prison.
In May 2002, appellant filed a petition for postconviction relief seeking modification of the sentence imposed in 1994 based on a claim that the sentence violated Minn. Stat. § 609.15, subd. 2 (1990). The district court denied the petition.
Appellate courts review a postconviction proceeding only to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain the postconviction court’s findings, and the court’s decision will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion. Scruggs v. State, 484 N.W.2d 21, 25 (Minn. 1992). However, whether a statute has been properly construed is a question of law subject to de novo review. State v. Murphy, 545 N.W.2d 909, 914 (Minn. 1996).
Before August 1, 1992, when a court imposed separate sentences of imprisonment for two or more crimes, Minn. Stat. § 609.15, subd. 2 (1990), limited the total term of imprisonment as follows:
If the court specifies that the sentence shall run consecutively, the total of the terms of imprisonment imposed, other than a term of imprisonment for life, shall not exceed 40 years. If all of the sentences are for misdemeanors the total of the terms of imprisonment shall not exceed one year; if for gross misdemeanors the total of such terms shall not exceed three years.
In 1992, the statute was amended by deleting the language that limited the total of the terms of imprisonment imposed to 40 years. 1992 Minn. Laws ch. 571, art. 2, § 8. The effective date of the amendment was August 1, 1992, and the amendment applied “to crimes committed on or after that date.” 1992 Minn. Laws ch. 571, art. 2, § 14.
Appellant concedes that the offenses for which he was sentenced in 1994 occurred between January 1991 and January 1993 and that he was sentenced on only four counts that involved conduct that occurred before August 1, 1992: count 1, for which he received a 60-month sentence; count 5, for which he received a 60-month sentence; count 12, for which he received a 60-month sentence; and count 32, for which he received a 30-month sentence.
Although the total of the sentences that appellant concedes he received for offenses that he committed before August 1, 1992, is 210 months, or less than one half of the statutory limit that existed when the offenses were committed, appellant contends that his sentence violated the statutory limit. Appellant argues that because the offenses that he committed both before and after August 1, 1992, were aggregated into one complaint for purposes of his guilty plea, all of the sentences that he received for those offenses must be aggregated for purposes of the 40-year limit under Minn. Stat. § 609.15, subd. 2. Therefore, appellant concludes, the total sentence that he received for all of his offenses must be reduced to 480 months.
But there is nothing in the statute that suggests that application of the 40-year limit is affected in any way by the manner in which offenses are charged. In fact, Minn. Stat. § 609.15, subd. 1 (1990), which was not changed by the 1992 amendment, states:
When separate sentences of imprisonment are imposed on a defendant for two or more crimes, whether charged in a single indictment or information or separately, * * * the court in the later sentences shall specify whether the sentences shall run concurrently or consecutively. If the court does not so specify, the sentences shall run concurrently.
The emphasized language indicates that the sentencing limit is to be applied when multiple sentences are imposed, regardless of whether the offenses for which the sentences are imposed were charged in a single complaint or multiple complaints.
Appellant also contends that even though the statute was amended, because several of his offenses occurred before the amendment, his sentence must be reduced to comply with the statute in effect at the time the offenses occurred. But appellant’s sentence does comply with the statute in effect at the time his offenses occurred. For offenses committed before August 1, 1992, the total term of imprisonment under multiple consecutive sentences is limited to 40 years. The total term of imprisonment imposed for offenses appellant committed before August 1, 1992, was 210 months, which is less than 18 years. The remaining 336 months in appellant’s sentence were imposed for offenses that occurred after August 1, 1992, when there was no longer a statutory limit on the total term of imprisonment.
Appellant contends that the 1992 amendment increased his potential range of punishment, and, citing State v. Coolidge, 282 N.W.2d 511, 514 n. 10 (Minn. 1979), he argues that under the Ex Post Facto Clause, an amendment that increases punishment cannot be applied to acts already committed. But the 1992 amendment increased the potential range of appellant’s punishment only for offenses committed on or after August 1, 1992. The amendment did not permit increased punishment for offenses appellant committed before the amendment was enacted.
Appellant’s argument appears to be based on the premise that when he was sentenced for offenses committed both before and after August 1, 1992, the effect of the amendment was to increase his sentence for offenses committed before August 1, 1992. But appellant’s sentence was not a single sentence imposed for offenses committed before and after the statute was amended; his sentence was the sum of several separate sentences imposed for separate offenses committed before and after the statute was amended. The amendment did not change appellant’s sentences for offenses committed before August 1, 1992. The amendment affected appellant’s total sentence only by allowing sentences for offenses committed on or after August 1, 1992, to continue to run consecutively beyond the repealed 40-year limit.
 Appellant’s brief indicates that his aggregate sentence totals 570 months, consisting of 96 months in prison and 474 months of probation. Appellant’s calculation appears to be based on the proposed plea agreement read into the record at the time of sentencing. However, the transcript and the subsequent sentencing orders reveal that appellant was sentenced to 96 months in prison and 450 months of probation.