This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).






Eugene Ryan Boos, petitioner,





State of Minnesota,



Filed December 26, 2006


Halbrooks, Judge


Hennepin County District Court

File No. 93025829


Eugene Ryan Boos, #175877 MCF – Oak Park Heights, 5329 Osgood Avenue North, Stillwater, MN 55082 (pro se appellant)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN  55101; and


Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Linda M. Freyer, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487  (for respondent)



            Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Harten, Judge.*

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant challenges the district court’s denial of his postconviction petition for resentencing.  Because we conclude that the district court correctly applied the law and did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.


Appellant Eugene Ryan Boos was charged with second-degree intentional murder in April 1993.  A jury found him guilty, and he received the presumptive sentence of 306 months in prison.  The district court stated that appellant’s 306-month sentence consisted of a minimum of 204 months of imprisonment (two-thirds of his sentence) and a maximum of 102 months of supervised release (one-third of his sentence).

Appellant directly appealed his conviction, but it was affirmed.  State v. Boos, No. C1-94-1006 (Minn. App. Mar. 21, 1995), review denied (Minn. May 16, 1995).  In May 2003, appellant filed a petition for postconviction relief based on several claims, including ineffective assistance of counsel and newly discovered evidence.  The postconviction court denied relief, and the court of appeals affirmed.  Boos v. State, No. A03-1678 (Minn. App. Aug. 3, 2004), review denied (Minn. Sept. 29, 2004).

In October 2005, appellant filed a postconviction petition for resentencing under Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 9.  He argued that the sentencing court incorrectly applied the “good time” statute to his sentence.  The district court determined that appellant had been correctly sentenced, and it denied the petition.  This appeal follows. 


Appellant argues that the district court erred in denying his postconviction petition for resentencing because it incorrectly interpreted the sentencing statutes.  Under Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 9, district courts have the power to correct an unlawful sentence at any time, even where there has been an earlier appeal or denial of postconviction relief.  State v. Stutelberg, 435 N.W.2d 632, 633-34 (Minn. App. 1989).  We will not reverse a district court’s denial of a postconviction petition for resentencing if the original sentence was authorized by law and the district court properly exercised its discretion.  Id. (quoting Fritz v. State, 284 N.W.2d 377, 386 (Minn. 1979)).  But the interpretation of sentencing statutes “is a question of law which this court reviews de novo.”  State v. Borrego, 661 N.W.2d 663, 666 (Minn. App. 2003). 

“The object of all interpretation and construction of laws is to ascertain and effectuate the intention of the legislature.”  Minn. Stat. § 645.16 (2004).  If the statute uses plain and unambiguous language, courts should not engage in statutory construction, but should look to the plain meaning of the statutory language.  State v. Wukawitz, 662 N.W.2d 517, 525 (Minn. 2003).  If any ambiguity remains, “[p]enal statutes are to be construed strictly so that all reasonable doubt concerning legislative intent is resolved in favor of the defendant.”  State v. Koenig, 666 N.W.2d 366, 372-73 (Minn. 2003). 

Appellant was sentenced under Minn. Stat. § 244.04, subd. 1 (1992),[1] which states:

[T]he term of imprisonment of any inmate sentenced to a presumptive fixed sentence . . . whose crime was committed before August 1, 1993, shall be reduced in duration by one day for each two days during which the inmate violates none of the disciplinary offense rules promulgated by the commissioner.  The reduction shall accrue to the period of supervised release to be served by the inmate . . . .


Appellant’s period of supervised release is controlled by Minn. Stat. § 244.05, subd. 1 (1992), which states:

[E]very inmate shall serve a supervised release term upon completion of the inmate’s term of imprisonment as reduced by any good time earned by the inmate . . . . [T]he supervised release term shall be equal to the period of good time the inmate has earned, and shall not exceed the length of time remaining in the inmate’s sentence.


Appellant argues that the language “one day for each two days” found in Minn. Stat. § 244.04, subd. 1, supports a one-half ratio for good-time earned.  Therefore, he argues that his term of imprisonment should consist of only 153 months, which is half of his 306-month sentence.[2]  Appellant also argues that his earned good time should reduce his sentence without supervised release. 

Appellant’s interpretation is contrary to the plain language of the sentencing statutes.  Under Minn. Stat. §§ 244.04, .05 (1992), an inmate is entitled to “a single good-time deduction, equal to one-third of the sentence, accruing to, and becoming, the period of supervised release.”  Seifert v. Erickson, 420 N.W.2d 917, 919 (Minn. App. 1988) (determining the method of calculating the good-time deduction under sections 244.04 and 244.05), review denied (Minn. May 18, 1988).  Thus, the plain language of the sentencing statutes shows that an inmate who earns the maximum amount of good time will serve two-thirds of the sentence in prison followed by a period of supervised release equal to one-third of the sentence.  Id. (citing State v. Randolph, 316 N.W.2d 508, 510 (Minn. 1982)). 

Appellant cites Carrillo v. Fabian, particularly footnote five, to support his contention that section 244.04 requires a one-half reduction in the duration of his sentence.  701 N.W.2d 763, 772 n.5 (Minn. 2005).  But that footnote is offered to compare Minnesota’s good-time statute with a similar Nebraska statute.  Id. at 772.  Although the supreme court went on to indicate that there is a liberty interest in good-time credits because they can affect the length of a term of imprisonment, id., nothing in the opinion or in footnote five supports appellant’s assertion that section 244.04 allows a one-half reduction in an inmate’s term without a period of supervised release. 

Appellant further contends that the accrual of good time to his period of supervised release violates his vested rights under the good-time statute, thus depriving him of a protected liberty interest.  An inmate “released on supervised release has received precisely what the legislature provided him, i.e., use of good time to reduce the term of imprisonment.”  Seifert, 420 N.W.2d at 919.  But earned good time only entitles an inmate to serve time on supervised release rather than in prison.  Id.  An inmate has a protected liberty interest in earned good-time credits, but “[t]he good-time statute . . . does not deny the prisoner due process, because it does not take away earned good time.”  Id. Therefore, the accrual of appellant’s good time to his period of supervised release does not deprive him of a protected liberty interest.

Finally, appellant argues that sections 244.04 and 244.05 violate article IV, section 17 of the Minnesota Constitution, which states that “[n]o law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.”  Minn. Const. art. IV, § 17; Unity Church of St. Paul v. State, 694 N.W.2d 585, 592 (Minn. App. 2005).  “The purpose of the single-subject requirement is to prevent ‘log rolling legislation’ or ‘omnibus bills’ in which dissimilar subjects are united in one bill and carried through by a combination of interests.”  Unity Church, 694 N.W.2d at 592 (quoting Associated Builders & Contractors v. Ventura, 610 N.W.2d 293, 299 (Minn. 2000)).  “The single-subject provision is not intended to preclude the enactment of comprehensive legislation addressing related topics within a general subject area.”  Id.  Section 244.04 (good-time credit) and section 244.05 (supervised release) address related topics within the subject of criminal sentences, and, therefore, they do not violate article IV, section 17 of the Minnesota Constitution.[3]

We conclude that appellant’s 306-month sentence consisted of a minimum of 204 months of imprisonment and a maximum of 102 months of supervised release.  Therefore, the district did not abuse its discretion by denying appellant’s postconviction petition.


*  Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10. 

[1] The postconviction court does not give a date to indicate which version of Minn. Stat. § 244.04, subd. 1, it applied.  But the text it cited is the text of Minn. Stat. § 244.04, subd. 1 (1992).


[2]  Appellant also argues that the postconviction court improperly applied Minn. Stat. § 244.101 (1992), which applies a two-thirds-to-one-third ratio for good time and supervised release to offenses committed after August 1, 1993.  However, this contention is unsupported by the evidence, and it is clear that the postconviction court applied Minn. Stat. § 244.04, subd. 1.

[3] We note that the single-subject requirement specifically applies to the enactment of bills into law.  Both sections 244.04 and 244.05 were enacted in 1978, and their texts have remained substantively unchanged.  1978 Minn. Laws ch. 723, art. 1, §§ 4, 5, at 763-64.