In Graham v. State, the court of appeals held that a drunk driver’s sentence may have been driven by principles of retribution and that the trial court had erred in its determination of the proper sentencing benchmark, its conclusion on aggravating factors, and its interpretation of the proper basis of the community condemnation standard. The driver pled guilty to two counts of second degree murder after causing a vehicle accident that killed two teenage girls, while intoxicated. The lower court sentenced the driver to the highest ever sentence in Alaska for that type of misconduct under the terms of a plea deal that required at least twenty-six years to serve. The court emphasized that in sentencing, the judge must take account of both the statutory factors and the past sentences imposed in comparable cases. The appeals court reasoned that the lower court applied an improper sentencing benchmark because it failed to distinguish between prior sentences resulting from intentional and nonintentional assaults, improperly applied an aggravating factor, and improperly employed a community condemnation standard to express community outrage in this particular case and not general assessment of the type of crime. The appeals court also concluded that the concept of general deterrence did not justify the sentencing disparity. Vacating and remanding for resentencing by a different judge, the appeals court determined that the driver’s sentence may have been driven by principles of retribution that are inconsistent with the Alaska Constitution and that the trial court had erred in its determination of the proper sentencing benchmark, conclusion on aggravating factors, and interpretation of the proper basis of the community condemnation standard.
 440 P.3d 309 (Alaska Ct. App. 2019).