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KS: Supreme Court hears arguments on constitutionality of state’s offender registry

TOPEKA, Kansas — The attorney for a convicted child molester on Thursday challenged the constitutionality of the Kansas offender registry before the state’s highest court, arguing social media has made the Internet the new town square for public shaming.

Attorney Christopher Joseph urged the Kansas Supreme Court to uphold a decision by Shawnee County Judge Larry Hendricks that removed the name of a Lenexa man from the registry. The judge ruled the retroactive application of the Kansas Offender Registration Act when the Legislature amended the law in 2011 violates the U.S. Constitution’s ban on “ex post facto,” or after-the-fact, punishments. Full Article

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  1. Robert Curtis

    The Sex offender registry is a form of LIVING DEATH and because of that fact it’s existence is a slap in the face of God. No Patriot, Christian and/or Constitutionalist can be for the sex offender registry in any form. That is if they really looked close at what it is and represents. Proverbs 16:25 states, “There is a way to a man that seems Right but the end thereof is the ways of death.” The sex offender registry is such a form of death (a Living Death). By it’s very nature its punitive with no end to measures placed against a person that otherwise has paid their debt to society. It offers no redemption. It is evil and it is wrong! I would debate any preacher or politician on it’s violation of spiritual law (the gospel) and Constitutional law. The debate would be quite non-challenging for me because of truth. That is why most preachers and politicians wisely refrain from such a debate. TRUTH

    • freedomwriter

      Amen. I’d rather be in prison protesting my innocence than having plead guilty to a misdemeanor that didn’t involve a minor or a child and live like this for the rest of my life. I cannot support my family! I would have never plead guilty if I knew laws could go back in time!

  2. Janice Bellucci

    The decision in this case has the potential to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared that registration is not punishment. If the Supreme Court of Kansas affirms the lower court ruling, the case could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and that court would have the opportunity to look at what it means to be a registered citizen today. We wish the registered citizen’s attorney great success in the noble endeavor.

  3. Q

    This is great; another attorney standing up and being counted! I’ll be praying tonight for God to bless this attorneys efforts in his battle with injustice. If this court doesn’t acknowledge the obvious; that the registry is punishment, violates ex post facto, and doesn’t protect anyone and never has then it’s not a very honest court.

  4. G4Change

    In my opinion, these attorneys better do much more than simply comparing today’s notification policies to those of 2003, or this case is as good as lost!!!!
    Notification is the tip of the iceberg. What about: residency restrictions, virtual house arrest on certain nights of the year, presence restrictions, internet restrictions. None of this crap existed in 2003 unless the registrant was on parole or probation. Being a registered citizen has essentially become like a BLANK CHECK onto which the government can continually write any amount. AND, it was after this 2003 SCOTUS decision when all of these ridiculous restrictions started to come about. If all they are going to argue is reporting and notifications, then God help us all!!!

  5. Eric Knight

    Call me cynical, but I believe the lower court decision will be overturned, and the registry scheme will be ruled 100% regulatory and hence not subject to ex post facto. The judges know what is at stake here, and are the last relatively low-key court to make such an impact with their decision. I don’t believe these judges want to be knows as the judges that “coddle sex offenders.” Hopefully, though, an appeal will be made by our side, though cert by SCOTUS is far harder when our side is making the appeal against the registry as it would be if the state were making the appeal for the registry, based upon Smith v. Doe.

    I see much of the same thing happening with the California Prop 35 challenge.

  6. Joe

    (Assistant Attorney General) Grunewald … faced skepticism from the court when he asserted there is no reason to question the law’s public safety purpose.

    (Justice) Johnson then retorted, “Well, I’m going to question it.”

    When Johnson pressed him as to whether his conclusion that registration improves public safety is based on hard evidence, Grunewald replied, “It’s common sense.”

    Are you *^*$@$ me?

    • Margaret Moon

      That reply, “It’s common sense,” made me choke. I couldn’t swallow it either. Common sense told us the world was flat, put butter on a burn, and (OMG) policemen are your friends. Nuff said???

      • Tim

        I apologize Margaret. I was sending that quote about flat earth just as yours was being posted. How odd.

    • Tim

      I think you will appreciate this:
      “Common sense is what tells us the Earth is flat and the Sun goes around it.”
      Anonymous

  7. Karl Fetters

    Myself I am hopeing the ks. Supreme court rules in favor of the offenders because anyone who has brains can figure out that this law is about nothing more then the money’ and the courts are smart enough they will see that this law is not a state law’ A state law means EVERY (body) of a state must follow the law, ( MEANING YOU , ME AND EVERY MAN WOMEN AND CHILD MUST REGISTER ) that is a state law’ this law only applies to those who have already broken the law in the past’ no one else has to abide by this law’ so here’s the money issue Kansas gets about 3 million from the federal gov, to adopt this law’ and now the state says you will pay us 20.00 dollors every time you registernow take thatand multipliy it times the number of registered offenders here in Ks. That is a lot of money that is what this is all about’ so let’s see if those judges are indeed smart enough to see this and the wrongness of this law and if they are they will say trash this law

    • Pat

      It is a lot of money to take in … BUT how much are they spending enforcing the law?

  8. David

    I hope and pray that the KS RC and the KS ACLU prevail and that the State appeals to SCOTUS.
    The egregious excesses of current registries must be addressed as what they truly are IN REALITY: Ex Post Facto punishment.
    I’m just (very appreciatively) amazed that the ACLU somewhere FINALLY stepped up!

  9. freedomwriter

    I wonder is anyone using actual evidence? Job applications, housing applications, the fact one cannot get an SBA loan or housing subsidies? Or it all just verbal arguments?

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