TOPEKA – (May 13, 2016) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider conflicting opinions it issued last month and to uniformly apply the Kansas Offender Registration Act to all similarly situated offenders.
On a single day in April, the Kansas Supreme Court released five decisions that reached contrary results involving the Offender Registration Act. The cases are Doe v. Thompson, State v. Buser, State v. Redmond, State v. Charles and State v. Petersen-Beard. In State v. Petersen-Beard, the Court held that registration under the Offender Registration Act is not punishment, conflicting with the holdings of the other four cases. Petersen-Beard explicitly overruled the holdings of three of those other cases, but not of the fourth.
In filings today, Schmidt notes, “the conflicting decisions issued by the Supreme Court result in disparate treatment of similarly situated individuals subject to the Offender Registration Act, contrary to the fundamental due process and equal protection principles that like cases should be treated alike.”
Today's filings request that the Court modify its opinion in four of these cases to conform with the holding in Petersen-Beard. In the alternative, they ask the Court to grant rehearing of the four cases.
“The current situation has created unnecessary confusion and inconsistency and runs afoul of the fair, logical and consistent articulation of the law that our legal system demands,” Schmidt said. “The meaning of the law simply cannot have changed in the blink of an eye between issuance of these conflicting opinions all on the same day.”
Copies of the motions filed today with the Kansas Supreme Court are available at http://1.usa.gov/24Q82Mh.