Articles Posted in Kansas Supreme Court

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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

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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

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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

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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

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions, rendered after a jury trial, of aggravated burglary, aggravated battery, and criminal damage to property. Specifically, the court held (1) Defendant’s statutory rights to a speedy trial were not violated; (2) the State presented sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s conviction of aggravated burglary; (3) the “bodily harm” jury instruction was not in error; (4) the district court erred in failing to give a Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-455 limiting instruction, but the error was harmless; (5) the district court erred in issuing written responses to the deliberating jury’s questions, but the error was harmless; (6) Defendant’s remaining challenges were unpreserved; and (7) cumulative error did not warrant reversal View "State v. Robinson" on Justia Law

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Based on the record below, Defendant was unable to establish that the effect of the registration requirements set forth by the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) constitute punishment. Defendant pleaded guilty to robbery and aggravated burglary. The district court ordered Defendant to register as a violent offender under KORA after finding that he used a deadly weapon to commit those offenses. Defendant appealed, arguing that the registration requirement violated the Booker/Apprendi rule because the jury did not find beyond a reasonable doubt that he used a deadly weapon. The court of appeals rejected Defendant’s Apprendi claims. The Supreme Court affirmed the registration order, holding (1) because there was no evidentiary basis supporting Defendant’s argument that KORA requirements are punishment as applied to violent offenders, the court could not conduct the appropriate analysis to determine KORA’s alleged punitive effects on violent offenders such as Defendant; and (2) because the registration requirements did not increase Defendant’s punishment under the law of this case, it was not necessary that Defendant’s use of a deadly weapon be found by a jury. View "State v. Huey" on Justia Law

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Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to sell, deliver, or distribute methamphetamine. Before Defendant entered his plea, the legislature amended the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA), raising the time Defendant was required to register as a drug offender from ten years to fifteen years. The district court imposed a fifteen-year registration period, finding that the amendments applied retroactively. The court of appeals affirmed. Defendant appealed, arguing that retroactively applying the amendments to him violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant was unable to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard because the record had not been sufficiently developed. View "State v. Hirschberg" on Justia Law

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Defendant, who challenged the registration requirements of the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) as applied to violent offenders, was unable to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard because the record had not been sufficiently developed. Defendant was convicted of one count each of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, and criminal intent. The trial court sentenced Defendant to a term of imprisonment and imposed lifetime registration pursuant to KORA. At the time he committed the crimes, Defendant would have been subject to registration only if the victim of the aggravating kidnapping charge under under age eighteen. After the State charged Defendant but prior to trial, the legislature amended KORA in such a away that Defendant was subject to lifetime registration. The court of appeals affirmed Defendant’s conviction and sentence. The Supreme Court also affirmed for the aforementioned reasons. View "State v. Donaldson" on Justia Law

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The registration requirements of the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) as applied to violent offenders are not punishment or subject to the limitations of the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. At the time Defendant pled no contest to one count of second-degree intentional murder, KORA required those convicted of second-degree intentional murder to register as a violent offender for ten years. By the time Defendant was sentenced, however, the legislature had amended KORA, raising the registration period to fifteen years. The district court sentenced Defendant to a term of imprisonment and ordered her to register for fifteen years. Defendant appealed, arguing that requiring her to register for fifteen years, as opposed to ten, violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that registration is not punishment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant was unable to satisfy the “clearest proof” standard because the record was not sufficiently developed. View "State v. Wingo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of first-degree premeditated murder and kidnapping and the district court’s imposition of a hard twenty-five sentence for the murder conviction and a consecutive seventy-seven-month sentence for the kidnapping conviction. The court held (1) the prosecutor erred in asking questions about Defendant’s retention of an attorney, but the error was harmless; (2) even if the prosecution’s questions regarding an alibi and the trial court’s admission of certain hearsay testimony and limitation of cross-examination of a State’s witness were in error, the errors were harmless; (3) the remaining issues Defendant raised on appeal were without merit; and (4) the cumulative effect of the error and assumed errors was not so great as to warrant reversal. View "State v. Sean" on Justia Law