For Immediate Release 04/22/16

Kansas Supreme Court Affirms District Court’s Finding that the Application of Sex Offender Registration Law to Firm’s Client is Unconstitutional

In a sex offender registration case before the Kansas Supreme Court, Christopher M. Joseph and Carrie E. Parker of Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC successfully defended the Shawnee County District Court’s judgment granting the firm’s client, John Doe, relief from registration obligations extended by Kansas Offender Registration Act (“KORA”) amendments implemented in 2011.

In October of 2015, Judge Larry Hendricks of the Shawnee County District Court granted the summary judgment motion Mr. Joseph and Ms. Parker filed on behalf of John Doe. Judge Hendricks’ decision declared the KORA to be punitive and in violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution when applied retroactively.

The Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Sheriff of Johnson County, Kansas, appealed the district court’s decision to the Kansas Supreme Court. Mr. Joseph argued the cause, and Ms. Parker was with him on the brief. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s decision, holding that “the amended statutory scheme cannot be applied retroactively to any sex offender who committed the qualifying crime prior to July 1, 2011.”

“The Kansas Supreme Court’s decision in Doe v. Thompson, et al. forever relieves our client, John Doe, of his obligation to register under the KORA,” said Mr. Joseph. But, because of the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Peterson-Beard, released the same day, other individuals in Mr. Doe’s position will not get relief from Kansas registration requirements. “This is an area of law that is evolving,” said Mr. Joseph. “We took one step forward with the Doe decision, and one step back with the Peterson-Beard decision.” Mr. Joseph “has little doubt” that courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, will ultimately agree with the Doe majority’s ruling that offender registration laws are punitive.

Media Contact:
Joseph Hollander & Craft
Christopher Joseph
1508 SW Topeka Blvd.
Topeka, KS 66612-1887
Office: (785) 234-3272

Kansas Sex Offender Registration Laws

  • ict_mike

    I’m confused to why State v. Peterson-Beard effects Doe v. Thompson. It looks like Peterson-Beard was sentenced after the law was changed, while Doe’s registration length was changed retroactively. I know when I was sentenced in 2004 I was told by a judge that I would need to follow the registration guidelines which were at that time 10 years, then I am being told that they can change it to lifetime without me having recourse which was not the deal I made. I know of several people that were a month or less away from being off the registrar but then told they would have to continue to register for 5 years,15 years or even their entire life. The State argues that making it retroactive was legal but anyone that had was off it prior to June 30th, 2013 did not have to re-register if their crime met the new standards. That alone should be enough legal grounds for those who were convicted or sentenced prior to that date with the understanding of what the registration was. Another example is people convicted under “old law” can not be given sentences under the “new law”. That’s all this is. I know that I was released from one job for not passing a background check, the only thing currently showing on my background check is being a registered offender as I’ve been out of prison for 5 years and that no longer shows up on the basic criminal background check. I look forward to more updates for those who were sentenced under the old criteria and hope to return to a somewhat normal life in 2 years when I was suppose to be off the registry myself.