Articles Posted in Kansas Supreme Court

by
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions arising from his participation in two interconnected felony murders that were consolidated for trial. The two homicides were tied together by Defendant’s involvement, drug-related violence, and shared evidence. The court held (1) the trial court did not err in refusing to suppress Defendant’s statements to police because the warnings given to Defendant, in their totality, reasonably conveyed Defendant’s right to counsel as required by Miranda; (2) the evidence was sufficient to support Defendant’s convictions; and (3) the instructions given to the jury were not clearly erroneous. View "State v. Brown" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s convictions on one count of identity theft, holding that Defendant’s prosecution was preempted by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b)(5). The convictions arose from Defendant’s act of using another person’s Social Security number to obtain employment. On appeal, Defendant argued that this identity theft prosecution against him was preempted by IRCA. The Supreme Court agreed and held that the State’s identity theft prosecution of Defendant based on the use of another person’s Social Security number to establish Defendant’s employment eligibility was expressly preempted by IRCA. View "State v. Garcia" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s convictions on two count of identity theft, holding that Defendant’s prosecution was preempted by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b)(5). The convictions arose from Defendant’s act of using another person’s Social Security number to obtain employment. In reversing Defendant’s convictions, the Supreme Court relied on State v. Garcia, __ P.3d __ (this day decided), which held that prosecutions such as the one in this case are expressly preempted by IRCA, and held that Defendant’s prosecution based on use of a Social Security number belonging to another person to obtain employment was expressly preempted by IRCA. View "State v. Ochoa-Lara" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s convictions on one count of identity theft and two counts of making a false information for using another person’s Social Security number to obtain restaurant employment, holding that Defendant’s prosecution based on his use of a Social Security number belonging to another person for employment was expressly preempted by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b)(5). In reversing Defendant's convictions, the court relied on State v. Garcia, __ P.3d __ (this day decided), which held that state prosecutions such as the one in this case are expressly preempted by IRCA. View "State v. Morales" on Justia Law

by
The Kansas Offender Registration Act’s (KORA) requirements do not constitute punishment for Defendant’s underlying aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer crime. Defendant was convicted of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, felony fleeing and eluding, and driving while suspended. The district court found that Defendant used a deadly weapon in the commission of the offenses, and therefore, Defendant was required to register under KORA. Defendant appealed, arguing that the registration requirements could not be imposed based on the judicial factfindings under Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000) because the registration requirements constitute an increased penalty for his offenses. Defendant also argued that the district court erred by imposing an increased sentence based on his criminal history, which was not proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court rejected Defendant’s Apprendi claims as it has done repeatedly in many other cases, holding that Defendant failed to demonstrate that the registration requirements constitute punishment. View "State v. Watkins" on Justia Law

by
Defendant pleaded no contest to two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child for offenses he committed in 2008. At the time of his plea, the Kansas Offender Registration Act required lifetime registration. On appeal, Defendant argued for the first time that the lifetime requirement violated the Ex Post Facto Clause because at the time of the crimes only ten years’ registration would have been required. The court of appeals concluded that the constitutional grounds for reversal asserted for the first time on appeal were not properly before the court. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant’s petition for review failed to challenge the court of appeals’ decision not to consider his ex post facto claim for the first time on appeal. View "State v. Tappendick" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for failure to register as a drug offender under the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA). At the time of Defendant’s drug conviction in 2002, KORA did not impose a requirement to register on drug offenders. In 2007, however, the legislature amended KORA to impose registration requirements on offenders such as Defendant. On appeal, Defendant argued that her failure to register conviction - based on the retroactive application of KORA’s 2007 amendments - violated the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution and Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000). The Supreme Court held (1) Defendant did not demonstrate that KORA’s registration requirements constitute punishment, and therefore, the retroactive application of KORA registration to her drug conviction does not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause; and (2) this court has repeatedly rejected claims similar to Defendant’s Apprendi claim and therefore declines to address that issue further in this opinion. View "State v. Shaylor" on Justia Law

by
Defendant, who was convicted of drug offenses committed in 2010, challenged the 2011 amendments to the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA), arguing that the requirement that she register was illegal because the retroactive imposition of registration requirements ran afoul of the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. The court of appeals held that the duty to register is a civil penalty, not punitive, and therefore, retroactive application of the amendments to drug offenders did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant was unable to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard because the record below was not sufficiently developed. View "State v. Hill" on Justia Law

by
Defendant was convicted of failing to register and placed on supervised probation. The State later moved to revoke Defendant’s probation. Prior to the revocation hearing, Defendant filed a motion to correct his underlying sentence for a felony drug conviction. Defendant argued in part that because he had not been required to register under the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) at the time of his drug conviction, his sentence for failing to register was illegal because the retroactive imposition of registration requirements ran afoul of the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. The district court denied the motion. The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s denial of the motion to correct illegal sentence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the lower courts had jurisdiction to hear and consider Defendant’s motion as a motion to correct an illegal sentence, but (2) because Defendant’s motion advanced no meritorious argument demonstrating that his sentence was illegal, his claim failed on the merits. View "State v. Kilpatrick" on Justia Law

by
Defendant, who challenged the registration requirements of the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) as applied to drug offenders, was unable to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard because the record had not been sufficiently developed. Defendant pled no contest to one count of distribution of cocaine. By the time Defendant was released from prison, the legislature had changed KORA by lowering the time an offender must register upon change of residence from ten days to three days. Defendant was subsequently charged with failing to timely update his registration. A jury convicted Defendant of violating KORA for failing to report a change of residence within three business days. On appeal, Defendant argued that applying the KORA amendments to him violated the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that registration is not punishment, and therefore, the amendments could be applied retroactively to Defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant failed to satisfy the clearest proof standard to override legislative intent and transform what has been denominated a civil remedy into a criminal penalty. View "State v. Burdick" on Justia Law