Kansas Judge Finds Offender Registry 'Punitive'

By: Associated Press & Chris Frank Email
By: Associated Press & Chris Frank Email

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A judge has ordered the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to remove a man's name from the state's offender registry for sex, drug and violent crimes.

Shawnee County Judge Larry Hendricks ruled Tuesday that a state law passed two years ago extending the amount of time offenders must remain on the registry is punitive. He says the registration period is excessive and the notification system ostracizes offenders.

The man pleaded guilty in 2003 to taking indecent liberties with a child in Johnson County. He was then required to remain on the registry for 10 years, until this year.

But the 2011 law extended the registering requirement to 25 years for that crime, and the plaintiff was told it applied retroactively and that he'd have to remain on the list until 2028.

Chris Joseph, Attorney for the Plaintiff says, "The judge followed the law and did the right thing. Registration unquestionably is a punishment. And it's just not constitutional to tack on another 15, 20 years after you've already served your sentence. It's strictly a constitutional ex post facto question."

KAKE news interviewed the plaintiff known only as John Doe. He says, "This is an individual lawsuit that I brought against the state of Kansas. However the aspects of it cover thousands of people who are in the same position that I'm in."

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says his office is prepared to battle in court anyone locally who tries to get off the offender's registry under the same circumstances.

The Kansas Attorney General's office is currently reviewing the Court's ruling.

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