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KS: Kansas Supreme Court divided over offender registration law

The Kansas Supreme Court is divided over whether a law requiring criminal offenders to register with local authorities after prison represents extra punishment.

A 4-3 majority has concluded that registration for sex, drug and violent offenders is not extra punishment. Its latest decision came Thursday in the appeal of Djuan Richardson.

He was convicted of selling cocaine in Sedgwick County in 2003 and pleaded guilty to violating the offender registration law in 2011. He later sought unsuccessfully to withdraw that plea. Full Article


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  1. AlexO

    With so much overwhelming evidence that the registry in fact creates a lot of disabilities socially, if not legally (not being allowed to see your child’s play on school grounds is a legal disability and not being able to find a home or job is a social one), how can they still claim it doesn’t amount to punishment? What is their rational that’s it’s not punishment?

    Does anyone know what was actually said in the ruling in regards to this? I’m curious the definitions they used to come to this ruling.

  2. Joe

    This case deals with (drug) offender registration – NOT sex offender registration.

    Noteworthy that 3 judges find even drug offender registration – a far cry from the restrictions imposed by sex offender registration – to be punitive…

    • TS


      That is very noteworthy to add a few more judges to the ever growing list of those who are finding registration to be punishment. The basic premise is the same regardless of the offense; meaning it is getting closer to being applied to more offenses unfortunately, but fortunately because it can be exploited for the punishment it truly is.

      Are they doing this registry for the sake of the children also? Asking for all the RCs out there…

      • CR

        @TS, I haven’t been able to find a written dissent by any of the dissenting judges. Do we know for sure that the other three justices considered the drug registry to be punishment? It’s possible they disagreed with the majority for other reasons.

    • The Umbrella of KORA

      Kansas Supreme Court reaffirmed their upholding of sex offender registration by embedded it in the decision on drug offenders challenge to retro application of KORA. The bottom linked article says it all.

  3. Cool CA RC

    I am giving this Djuan Richardson’s lawyer an “F”

  4. CR

    I did not know that any state had a drug offender registry. Is this it, then? The acceleration of the push to get every person who has ever committed a crime on a registry for that crime? That seems inevitable in the long run if courts continue to find that registry schemes are only regulatory, may be applied retroactively, and do not constitute punishment.

    The article implies that there are also “violent offender” registries other than sex offender registries. Or perhaps only that they would be considered constitutional if they did exist.

    In view of Smith v Doe, I’m frankly surprised the vote of the Kansas Supreme Court was only 4 to 3 in favor of registration for drug offenders not being punishment. Again, it seems like any other conclusion would be impossible, since it would also apply to the sex offender registry.

  5. Cool CA RC

    Now, they can now start putting restrictions on where drug user can live.

    • NPS

      Being convicted of a drug offense is no joke. While they may not have the same restrictions that we have, I would have to say they definitely have it a lot harder than I do when it comes to financial stability.

      Anyone convicted of a drug offense cannot get any type of loan, scholarship, or grant, be it school, vehicle, mortgage, personal, etc. They wouldn’t be able to attend university unless they have deep pockets. At least I was able to get a mix of grants and loans to pay for graduate school and earn my MA degree. I was able to get an FHA loan to buy my house. This grant/loan restriction (which, thankfully, people in our community are not subject to) does put them in a financial bind which is probably why this group of offenders tend to have higher re-offense rates.

      • Sam

        That might be a state by state thing.

        In Michigan I got denied for any type of assistance or loans(credit score was 790 at that time but I was too high of a risk because my criminal history of having one offense) and when I did attend college the a school’s police department (yes it had its own police department) tried to have me charged and arrested when I didn’t take summer classes in 2013 because I didn’t unenroll from the school. Which I’m not sure how someone can actually do that when they are a student studying there and intending to return in the fall.

        I had never had taken summer classes before and always reported to them I would be back in the fall and never had to completely unenroll from the school just to have to re-enroll in later.

        Because of this I hadn’t finished my degree even though I was one public speaking class and one internship away. If I could have found an internship. Every one the councilor tried to assign denied me because my situation would look bad on their company. They gladly took those with drug offenses.

        That being said though I did get approved for Stafford loans that enabled me to take all my business and law classes. Still paying those back. Slowly.

        • Sam

          Sorry totally forgot to mention. The ones who I had known who had multiple drug charges were given multiple grants and loans regarding their education which in turn they used that money to re-up and make more money selling drugs.

          The reoffence with them was higher because the money was too good. When you can take a 5k Student Loan and turn it into 50k in about a week then just go to classes and not really have to worry while you expand enterprise within the school itself. These were all people in my business and marketing courses. I’m not sure what happened to them after but they could turn a profit off of anything.

  6. ML

    If any judge thinks that registration is not punishment they are either a dumbass or dishonest. There is no middle ground. Ignorance in our judiciary is “frightening and high.”

    • AJ

      Ignorance in our judiciary is “frightening and high.”
      LOL. +1. Likewise, denial.

    • David

      “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” So why are judges allowed to get away with willful ignorance of facts and DOJ statistics?

  7. mike r

    Sorry NPS, but your wrong. I am currently getting both grants and student loans just as anyone else. Denial for possession only applies if you were selling it when you are receiving aid.Drug offender registration is a one time thing, and only last for five years. I am in CA, and yes we have both arson and drug registration.

    • NPS

      It’s you’re. Not your. Regardless, no, I am not wrong. And I would suggest avoiding the finger pointing at who is wrong or right. It just brings your credibility down.

      When I had applied for FAFSA, FHA, SF State’s grant, each one asked if I was convicted of a drug offense. There are even programs that help former offenders (except 290s) to get them some kind of financial assistance if they had a drug offense such as having the funding going directly to the school.

  8. mike r

    Oh, and yes, I have a felony possession of a controlled substance.

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