State v. Davidson, No. 119,759 (Kan. 2021)
Nature of Case: Appellant was convicted of aggravated criminal sodomy in 2002. As a result of his conviction, Appellant was required to register as a sex offender under the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA). After Appellant failed to register in 2017 he was charged with violating KORA, a felony. Davidson moved to dismiss the charge, arguing that at the time of his 2002 conviction the registration requirement under KORA was for 10 years and was only later increased to a lifetime registration requirement. The District Court denied Appellant’s motion to dismiss the charge and Appellant was later convicted by a jury.
Appellant appealed his conviction, arguing that retroactive application of KORA violates the federal constitutional prohibition against Ex Post Facto punishment, infringes on his right to due process, and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The Court of Appeals deemed Appellant’s due process and cruel and unusual punishment arguments waived and rejected Appellant’s Ex Post Facto argument. Appellant filed a petition for review.
Holding: The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the holding of the Court of Appeals and concluded that mandatory lifetime post-release registration under the Kansas Offender Registration Act, KORA, does not constitute punishment for the purposes of applying the Ex Post Facto clause.